This American Journey
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't a detached, academic documentary. The filmmakers are part of the narrative. If that's not the type of documentary you're comfortable with, then you probably won't enjoy this. Which is, sadly, your loss.
Personally, I find the more informal storytelling deeply effective and affecting. It acknowledges that it would be silly to claim you can encompass the realities of an entire nation via two guys driving across the country in a van. Instead, it focuses on trying to grasp the more ephemeral heart and soul through vignettes with (mainly) chance encounters. These casual chats are interspersed with some personal comments from the filmmakers that give them a context.
Of course, no film story is successful without some good cinematography, and it walks the line between "up close and personal" and "scenic" very well. It has a suitable cinema verite vibe without compromising quality or missing the chance for some gorgeous vistas.
In the end, it effectively takes a series of snapshots about the American experience, frames them from the perspective of two "foreigners" living here, and manages to create a whole picture that's really about the human experience. It's a lofty goal but undertaken with so little pretension that it's all the more moving.
I am not a film critic, but like most people, I do have an opinion, I can reflect and have a reaction to something. I therefore will not judge any technique, dialogue or wardrobe choices, but I will share how it made me feel, what it made me think and what I took away from it.
One of the reasons this film captured my interest was because it was made by two men, one British and the other Australian. While neither were raised in the U.S., each had eventually made the U.S. his home because visits to America during his youth captured his imagination.
Others’ opinions and interpretations of us here in the USA have always been of interest – opinions of actions that have, rightly so I my opinion, labeled some of us ugly Americans for example. Outsider’s eyes focused on our potential or current stereotypes can be the glaring spot light we need, as it could make us evaluate what is behind our actions. Then, in this perfect world I’m imagining, we humbly alter the behavior or respectfully offer explanation of just why it is so damn important we do that.
This American Journey is a series of unplanned, random interviews post 2008 elections from everyday Americans and their thoughts on the country, politics, the economy, energy policies, religion and how these matters currently effect their lives. The only thing planned was the route - over three thousand miles by car beginning in New York City to Southern California through the deep South, the Mid and Southwest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was very well edited, and well shot. I also loved how the two filmmakers incorporated their own thoughts, while keeping the main focus on the strangers they encountered. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amanda
I can't rave enough about this delightful film/documentary. Entertaining, enlightening, inspiring. You will want to see this duo travel to other destinations. Read morePublished 21 months ago by tuneboy
I think this is a brilliant insight to the events in America today. Not living there it gives you a slight look into what some people think is happening to America today. Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by Michelle Saunders
I chose this five star rating because I assumed the people Paul Blackthorne interviewed would respond in a certain manor, and I was pleasantly surprised by most of their... Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by Catherine Cutkomp
You can't see much of America in this movie. Some passages, like informal conversations between the two travelers are not necessary (the scene in the bathroom -- unacceptable). Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by Jacek Siara