a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Biographies » Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick WisemanFrederick Wiseman is arguably the most important American documentary filmmaker of the past three decades. A law professor turned filmmaker in 1967, Wiseman, in his most dramatically powerful documentaries, has poignantly chronicled the exercise of power in American society by focusing on the everyday travails of the least fortunate Americans caught in the tangled webs of social institutions operating at the community level. As underlying theme of many of these documentaries is the individual’s attempt to preserve his or her humanity and dignity while struggling against laws and dehumanizing bureaucratic systems. Wiseman functions as producer, director, and editor of the films, which numbered 29 by 1996. The documentaries have all been broadcast on public television in the United States, presented by New York station WNET, and have regularly marked the opening of the new PBS season. Wiseman’s documentaries have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Dupont Award. Wiseman was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Prize Fellows Award in 1982 and received a Peabody Award for his contribution to documentary film.

—From The Museum of Broadcast Communications

Recommended Reading

Five Films by Frederick Wiseman: Titicut Follies, High School, Welfare, High School II, Public Housing by Frederick Wiseman

Click here to view Supplemental Reading to Frederick Wiseman on Amazon.

Series Navigation<< Timothy WirthDaniel Yankelovich >>

Notable in UU History
Frederick May Eliot

Eliot, Frederick May (1889-1958)

Frederick May Eliot As I Knew Him by Judge Lawrence G. Brooks, Chairman of the Board ... Read More
Maxine Kumin

Kumin, Maxine (1925-2014)

Biographical Introduction This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet raised horses on a 200-acre farm near Warner, New Hampshire ... Read More
Ashley Montagu

Montagu, Ashley (1905-1999)

Ashley Montagu, born Israel Ehrenberg in East London in 1905, was one of those rare men ... Read More
John Dos Passos

Dos Passos, John (1896-1970)

Biographical Introduction The writer who is celebrated for his historical triple novel, U.S.A., was born in ... Read More