Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

2019| 87 mins| /

Screening Dates:
Wed 31 March 12:00am


Sponsored by CityFibre

Director: Matt Wolf
Starring: Marion Stokes

Available to stream at home from Friday 13 November

From constant updates on social media to never-ending breaking news alerts, the twenty-first century news cycle moves so fast, there’s barely timely to keep up. But if we had time to process what we see, what would we learn? The illuminating documentary Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project delves into the work of archivist and activist Marion Stokes, who secretly recorded television twenty-four hours a day for thirty years.

Starting in 1979 with the Iranian Hostage Crisis at the dawn of the twenty-four hour news cycle, Marion compulsively recorded everything until her passing on December 14, 2012 while television networks around the world broadcast the Sandy Hook massacre. In between, the fabulously wealthy recluse recorded over 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, lies, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows, and commercials that tell us who we were, and show how television shaped the world today.

Before “fake news” Marion fought to protect the truth by archiving everything said and shown on television. The public didn’t know it, but the networks were disposing their archives for decades, never to be seen again. In her search to find the cracks between the official record and reality, Marion saved it all, and now the Internet Archive will digitise her tapes so that everyone can search them online for free.

From director Matt Wolf (Spaceship Earth, Teenage), this is a mystery in the form of a time capsule. Marion’s eccentricity was also her genius, and she would pay a profound price for dedicating her life to this visionary and maddening project.



Stream on demand for £4.99. You’ll have 48 hours to watch the film. 50% of the streaming fee goes towards supporting Northampton Filmhouse.

Please note, while Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project is listed on our website and we receive a share of the rental fee, the purchasing and rental agreement is between you and the film distributor for the movie.