THE RICH HAVE THEIR OWN PHOTOGRAPHERS (Ezra Bookstein, U.S.). 60 minutes. Saturday (May 10), 9:15 pm. Rating: NNNN
Buffalo optometrist Milton Rogovin, now almost 100, turned to photography in the 1950s to express his concerns with justice for working people and the poor after the un-American Activities Committee named him the area’s number-one Red.
He took pictures of worshippers at storefront churches, portrayed steel workers and miners both on the job and at home with their families, and returned to Buffalo’s impoverished Lower West Side to photograph the same people in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
W.E.B. Dubois wrote an introduction to his black church series, and Rogovin collaborated with Pablo Neruda on a project in Chile. Scenes of the photographer and his wife interacting with people on the streets of Buffalo capture the locals’ affection for them and the work. Rogovin’s generosity of spirit and respect for his subjects’ dignity are rare and precious in contemporary photography.