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Jonathan Oppenheim, editor for “Paris is Burning” and “The Oath”, passes away at 67

Jonathan Oppenheim, the film editor for such acclaimed feature docs as Paris Is Burning, The Oath and Phyllis and Harold, has passed away at 67 following a battle with brain ...
July 21, 2020

Jonathan Oppenheim, the film editor for such acclaimed feature docs as Paris Is Burning, The Oath and Phyllis and Harold, has passed away at 67 following a battle with brain cancer.

In a message via Twitter, the Sundance Institute tweeted: “Our friend, collaborator and talented film editor Jonathan Oppenheim has passed away. He leaves behind a distinct and significant body of work, which we cannot categorize other than to say he dedicated his life’s work to the art form of documentary storytelling. We will miss him.”

Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the International Documentary Association, tweeted: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Jonathan Oppenheim – mast editor who shaped so many documentary films.”

Oppenheim (pictured) passed away on July 17 in New York City.

Born in November of 1952, Oppenheim began his editing career with narrative features and comedies such as Arthur and The Muppets Take Manhattan. He garnered his first top-billing as editor with 1990′s Paris Is Burning, which explored New York City’s ball culture scene over the 1980s.

In 2010, he worked with Laura Poitras on her Academy Award-nominated film The Oath,  about two men whose lives were intimately caught up with Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Oppenheim also served as co-editor of 2013′s William and the Windmill, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW; and he edited and coproduced Before and After Dinner, a film about Andre Gregory, avant-garde theater director and co-star of My Dinner with Andre. He also edited the Peabody Award-winning Arguing The World and acted as a story consultant on such films as How to Survive a Plague, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, (T)error, The Cinema Travelers and Risk.

Most recently, he edited Stephanie Wang-Breal’s documentary Blowin’ Up and Hava Kohav Beller’s In the Land of Pomegranates.

(With files from Jillian Morgan)

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