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One Cut, One Life

Personal documentarians Lucia Small and Ed Pincus’ final collaboration traces Pincus’ terminal illness and the value of an artistic life.

Available Online: Friday, June 26 – Thursday, July 16
Directors: Lucia Small and Ed Pincus
Film Details: 2014, 105 minutes, DCP, color, sound, English


Suggested Ticket Price: Donate to Mass Redistribution Fund

New England Legacy Film! World Premiere at Full Frame. Official selection of IFFBoston, NYFF, Torino.

Join us at 7 PM on Wednesday, July 7 for a Live Chat screening of ONE CUT, ONE LIFE on YouTube.

Filmmaker Lucia Small will attend via Zoom for a Q&A with the DocYard’s Guest Curator, Abby Sun at 3 PM EST on Wednesday, July 8!

Screen the film here!

Register for the Q&A here!

About the Film:

After the success of My Father, The Genius, Lucia Small met Ed Pincus, pioneering documentarian and a founder of the MIT Film/Video Section, when their paths crossed at a film festival. Finding each other to have similar sensilibites, they began collaborating as co-directors on projects that pushed ideas of interrogating responsibility and the identities of their makers. One Cut, One Life is their final film together, bookended by the recent violent deaths of two of Small’s closest friends, including her roommate, the gifted editor Karen Schmeer, as well as Pincus’ own terminal illness. 

As much a treatise on our determination to prolong life through risky medical procedures as it is a record of two careers, Small and Pincus continue to push the limits of propriety. After indelibly changing the course of observational and personal documentary, Pincus and his family retreated to a Vermont flower farm. Much of this film takes place there, far from the centers of American documentary but featuring conversations that hark back to the conflict between Pincus and his wife, Jane, as recorded in Pincus’ landmark Diaries (1971-1976). Unlike other studies with consent and participation, however, every character in One Cut, One Life chooses not to withdraw but to engage. They collectively ask each other, and in turn, us as the audience, questions of authorship, sacrifice, and need. (AS)

“An elegy for the dead, the dying, and those who live on, ‘One Cut, One Life’ is a singular work made from a double vision… In short, as messy and precious as life itself.”  Ty Burr, Boston Globe

One Cut, One Life is as intuitive as its structure, as natural as the processes of dying and mourning that make up its core.” Diana Clarke, Village Voice

Lucia Small Select Filmography
One Cut, One Life (2014)
Lower Ninth Ward (2008, short)
The Axe in the Attic (2007)
My Father, The Genius (2002)

Ed Pincus Select Filmography
One Cut, One Life (2014)
The Axe in the Attic (2007)
Diaries: 1971-1976 (1981) 
Life and Other Anxieties (1977) 
Black Natchez (1967)