Diane Bonder's film work is inspiring and haunting. Her films are fractured fairy tales about love, loss and displacement. Using optical printing techniques (re-filming frame after frame by hand) to overlay images on top of images, these films poignantly speak through washes of sensuous layers of pictures and sounds. The results are dreamlike journeys through everyday life.

Bonder tells stories about personal memory, growing up queer, and forgotten places. Her narratives sometimes embrace a mix of archival films, photo albums and childhood games to trace the complexities of family dynamics and love relationships gone awry. Her films also let us have a complicated look at landscapes that go unnoticed – singling out the workings of gentrification through every faded sign and closed storefront – remembering small town U.S.A without nostalgia but with a historian's keen sense of detail. It is in the details that her stories come alive. Her films are poetic treasures.


Alongside her filmmaking, Diane Bonder was an avid photographer recording the smallest details, making us notice overlooked shots and angles of life. Her signature was in this recognition of minutiae, and also in saving moments generally disregarded. She had a keen eye for color and composition. She found evidence of past histories and forgotten moments, things left behind, which she captured in her enduring images – such as a scrap of an old sign, a lone winter glove, an absurd Easter bunny. The rarely seen photographs displayed on this website were never exhibited, but Diane had planned to make a short film out of them. They are a visual record of the last year of her life.