American Passages
Ruth Beckermann
2011 - 121 min - 35 mm - Couleur - Autriche

"In the wake of Obama’s election, where does America stand on each citizen’s right to the “pursuit of happiness” enshrined in the Constitution? For Ruth Beckermann, the answer is not to be found in a succession of talking heads disserting on the subject, but in movement, in “passages”. Her attempt to make lightning and decisive encounters is a success. Partly thanks to her habit of travelling to film (to central Europe for her Paper Bridge, Israel for Towards "Jerusalem, Egypt for A Fleeting Passage to the rient...).
Yet these passages are not just geographical, they are a time machine: the present of a black cabdriver, a young Iraq veteran, or a gay couple causes History to unfold. Whether in the costumed revivals of local museums or the nostalgic memories of a former Vegas pimp, this history is being rewritten daily. Sometimes, the cuts are as brutal as the realities they portray: from
the visit to a millionaire’s house to another at home with an evicted woman, the violence unquestionably stems from the side-by-side existence of these two extremes. The filmmaker’s endurance for crossing landscapes and social milieus gives an invigorating
mobility to those she speaks with. Her own pursuit is as desperate and full of hope as the pursuit of happiness in the Constitution."
(Charlotte Garson, Cinéma du réel 2011)


Distribution


Distributor : Ruth Beckermann Filmproduktion
Circulation-Consultation : BPI (Bibliothèque publique d'information)

Distinctions

2011 - Cinéma du réel, Paris (France) : Compétition Internationale
2011 - Festival international du cinéma indépendant (BAFICI), Buenos Aires (Argentine) : Sélection
2011 - Images en bibliothèques, Paris (France) : Film soutenu par la Commission nationale de sélection des médiathèques