A documentary about archival images and who controls, uses and profits from it. The film begins with the history of the world through images controlled by the company Getty Images, but it is interested in the control that it exercises over History, its archive and its accessibility.
A film that results from a commission to make a short film about the commercial archive industry, such as the Getty Images corporation that gives the film its title. What does in fact begin as a montage of archival images that make up a certain sequence of the world’s history, becomes a much deeper exploration, ending on in a gesture of protest and denunciation, regarding the processes to control the use of images that exist under the umbrella of this industry. Who really owns the images, who can profit from them and who holds power over their dissemination? Can images be held captive by these groups and end up disappearing from circulation? These are some of the questions that arise from Richard Misek’s investigation into the commodification of the past (Ana Cabral Martins)