Brother’s Keeper (1992)

That moment. Ever good film should have one. In Brother’s Keeper it comes late in the film and it involves a juxtaposition between two scenes. In the first scene Dr. Cyril Wecht, Pittsburgh’s celebrity coroner describes the violent reactions of the body as a person is being choked to death. The image of a pig being shot, having its throat slit, and its hide removed follows. This one two punch provides first the audio account a violent death and then the visuals of a violent death. It matters little that the two deaths are not related. Together these scenes and this moment prove the power of both seeing and hearing, the differences and the necessity for both experiences.

A similar combination can be found in another documentary about life and death. Herzog, uses this audio/video two-step in Grizzly Man when he denies the audience the opportunity to hear the final screams of two humans being devoured by bears. Instead, he cuts to a visual showing the awesome power of a grizzly bear. The viewer’s mind does the addition and makes up a scene of their own.


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