Filmmaker: John Koenig

Sonder, from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

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Whether he intended it to be or not, John Koenig’s first (?) video in support of his popular site The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a videopoem.

SONDER, noun: “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.”

From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (, a compendium of made-up words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language, to give a name to an emotion we all feel but don’t have a word for.

This was a staff pick at Vimeo, though a few people criticized (unfairly, in my opinion) his use of found footage, which he defends in the comments:

At the end of the video you’ll find a full list of credits for all the footage that appears in it. I believe my usage here falls under Fair Use/Fair Dealing, by virtue of its educational, transformative and fleeting handling of the source footage.