Directed by David Shapiro
Best Documentary Feature, 2015 Hamptons International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival
Official Selection, 2015 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Martina Batan is a chronic insomniac, haunted by the mystery surrounding her brother’s murder. Always doing things her way, if even beyond explanation, the Filipino American art gallery director has turned to collecting and researching the work of New Orleans artist Roy Ferdinand, a specialist in grisly portraits of black inner-city life.
David Shapiro’s fascinating MISSING PEOPLE follows the two intertwining pastimes of Martina’s adult life: her sleuthing for facts about Ferdinand’s art, and her reopening the unsolved case of her brother’s murder. Exploring the neighborhoods where Ferdinand grew up and gained inspiration, Martina finds insights into the artist’s life through his sisters as they recount Ferdinand’s struggle with drugs, gangs, and homelessness. The sisters are naturally suspicious of Martina’s interest in their brother and his works, though there’s something in her dual quests and in her worldview that open possibilities of mutual understanding. Through twists and revelations, Martina emerges as no less of an enigma than at the start, but with stunning purpose and brimming with life. –Tracie Yang
Co-Presented by: SDSU Samahan Filipino American Alumni Association