Posted on March 13th, 2013
This type of documentary work—combining words and visuals, with the author submerging into the story—can be intense, but it’s the best. One of the most striking spreads in Raised By Wolves consists of the contact sheets from two rolls of film. The first few frames show a TV broadcasting the flag raising on Iwo Jima, then it briefly switches to a test pattern before displaying nothing but static. Taped between the rows of photos is a single typewritten thread, many of the words crossed out or written over, describing a series of unpublished photos. The buried pain seeps off the page, and Goldberg ends with: “I hid these pictures for years”
Raised By Wolves is out of print, with available copies ranging from $250 to $800, but I was able to locate one for free through an Interlibrary loan (ILL!). If you’d like to see more, this short film brings the story to life, and an extensive series of Goldberg’s photos are available on Magnum’s site.
Echo: Look, you have this Cosby-type show that people think is going on. Then you have this horrible family, where people think abused kids come from. And then you have this stuff in the middle, which is where most people are. I’m trying to think of how you can get to the middle part of it. Show little parts of the perfect family, and then show the horrible nightmare. Maybe use it as a basis. So people will be more open to seeing the problems with the average kid. There’s a kind of despair that kills that little innocence that kids are supposed to have.
I have never known you to do that. You showed us as we are, and let us tell the story ourselves. Kids are only going to listen if society first lets them speak with their own voices, without ‘editing.’ Make sure that your work tells the true stories. Show people that they are not the only ones who matter, and that they don’t have the right to classify kids into neat boxes, because that will not make them go away. Instead, it will make their numbers grow.”
- Letter from Echo to Jim, his wife Susan and their young daughter Ruby Sophia
- Preacher Hilton
These kids find their greatest human need, which is the need for love and affection, met out on the streets with a peer group that will love and accept them. They become greater than a family. You know, they would rather live in filth and hunger with a group that will accept them than they would with a family that will meet all their physical needs, yet inflict on them emotional pain and torment.
- Preacher Hilton