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Robert L. Drew, cinema verite filmmaker, dies at 90

By Kyle Johnson,

Robert L. Drew, who pioneered the cinema verite documentary style, passed away at the age of 90 on Wednesday in Connecticut.

His son, Thatcher Drew, confirmed his father's passing saying, "He had been declining for some time and it was not completely unexpected."

The award-winning director spent more than 50 years behind the camera on over a 100 films and helped pioneer the documentary style of cinema verite, Reuters reports, which moved nonfiction films away from staged productions.

"He believed in the pure form of cinema verite," Thatcher said. "It was a strict code that allowed no directing of subjects, no set up shots and no on-camera narrator or correspondent."

He began working behind the camera in 1960, according to The Associated Press, starting off with Primary, which was put into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry for historic works in 1990.

He won a Peabody award in 1982 for 784 Days That Changed America: From Watergate to Resignation and might be best known for the death penalty documentary The Chair. Drew also won an Emmy for Man Who Dances.

On top of being a filmmaker, Drew also was a World War II fighter pilot and an editor and correspondent at Life Magazine.

 
 

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