This pathos-laden approach assumes the audience has a fundamental understanding of who Susan was. Indeed, this isn't a didactic film about Sontag's achievements but rather a study of a woman once described as liking "her hair wild and sentences intense". Whilst Kates' clearly admires her subject, it should be noted that the sacrosanct nature of her approach results in a lack of the critical gaze its subject was famous for. Kates focuses on how it must have felt to be around someone with such an advanced intellect and contagious passion for life, rather than attempt to acknowledge her flaws. Kates refuses the viewer an informative lesson in her subject, offering a doc for those already interested in Sontag, encouraging the passive viewer to allow her work to live on through the letters, essays and films she left behind. In her groundbreaking 1977 study On Photography, Sontag declared, "We want photographs to tell the truth, yet at the same time we want them to lie". Kates understands this crucial concept, in turn fulfilling both needs.
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