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Mary Ellen Mark films at BAMcinemaFest

Part of BAMcinématek series BAMcinemaFest 2016

Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

Directed by Martin Bell
2016, 87min


Thirty-two years after the landmark documentary Streetwise introduced viewers to an indelible teenage girl known as Tiny—then a 14-year-old prostitute living on the streets of Seattle—director Martin Bell revisits the tumultuous life of Erin Blackwell. Chronicling her rocky path from drug addiction and poverty to an all-too-fragile stability as the mother of ten children, this intimate follow-up—produced by the late, legendary photographer Mary Ellen Mark—is a compassionate portrait of a woman scarred by life, but who remains resilient.



Directed by Martin Bell
1984, 91min


In 1983, filmmaker Martin Bell and pioneering photojournalist and artistic collaborator Mary Ellen Mark—took a camera onto the streets of Seattle to document the lives of teenage runaways. With startling intimacy, this groundbreaking, Academy Award-nominated documentary chronicles an unforgettable group of kids—including Tiny, a fourteen-year-old sex worker whose heartrending story Bell and Mark documented for 32 years in Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell—who have turned to dumpster diving, drug dealing, panhandling, and prostitution in order to survive. Their mix of childlike naiveté and weary-beyond-their-years resignation remains heartbreaking and haunting.