November 11, 2013
Nina Davenport, a documentarian whose career has largely been devoted to autobiographical filmmaking, made her most recent film First Comes Love on her decision to have a baby on her own in her early forties. Broadcast by HBO last July, First Comes Love is the latest in a series of personal documentaries by Davenport which includes Always A Bridesmaid (2000) and the post 9/11 road trip film Parallel Lives (2004).
A filmmaker whose work has also been broadcast and distributed by Cinemax, BBC and Channel Four in England, Davenport has made first-person films since graduating from Harvard College in 1990 where her mentors in personal and ethnographic documentary were the filmmakers Ross McElwee, Rob Moss and Robert Gardner.
About the form of first-person cinema, Davenport says: “The ‘off-the-cuff’ intimacy of personal documentaries makes them look easy, but from the cadence and delivery of the voiceover to the creation of a persona, it’s actually extremely difficult to get it just right.”