Reviews and opinions 
-the university and college media 


"One could perhaps label American Pictures a "masterpiece", but such a label would obscure the power and overwhelming grip this production exercises on its viewers. 

American Pictures challenges the viewer to act, not merely to react cathartically. It expresses a global reality and responsibility we all share. Its spirit stands somewhere between Studs Terkel's hopeful elegies and Herbert Marcuse's one dimensional society. 

It possesses an objectivity which only a non-native American could express. No mere description or praise can convey the experience of American Pictures. It is a presentation that all Americans must experience for themselves." 
Grey City Journal 1981 
University of Chicago 

Doing homework in a shack in Georgia

"American Pictures is Brechtian epic theater par excellence. The audience is constantly aware and inspired that Holdt, a foreigner, is genuinely interested in the underlying currents of the American social system and concerned for those who have to struggle so hard against them." 
Grey City Journal 1987 
University of Chicago 

 "Four weeks ago, I reached an important plateau in my evolution......Not a single day has passed without "American Pictures" oppressing my outlook." 
The Daily Illini 
University of Illinois 

 "I guess I'm sort of shocked," said Stacey Shields. "I'm surprised that it's my nation." Darren Gouran was also surprised by the show. "I really had no idea what to expect," he said. "It's amazing -- stunning. I walked in and I was just like, wow, what did I walk into?" 
Digital Collegian 
Rochester University 

Welfare mother in New Jersey

"...a somber journey into the darkest souls of America.... an emotionally and intellectually compelling vision of America." 
The Univ. of Wisconsin 
Badger Herald 

After I saw "American Pictures" I left feeling totally hopeless and helpless. I can only recall feeling so totally helpless in response to one other issue....the environment. Racism rages in our society but is not beyond our control. We do not entirely understand racism or the environment and in our ignorance we act in harmful ways......
All we can do is to keep our differences in mind, searching for a healthy balance based on recognition and understanding. Holdt has accomplished this by communicating to his viewers that mutual solidarity is a viable option to enact change.
Yale Daily News

 "His accessibility, combined with the unique perspective of someone from a racially and economically homogeneous country, gives Holdt a new outlook on American racism and its effect on our society." 
The Daily Californian 
U.C. Berkeley  

Ole Bech-Petersen examines "American Pictures," a slide show of Jacob Holdt's experiences in the US in photography translated into a book.
The book raises important questions about travel and identity and about the possibilities and limits of using the US to mobilize new racial and national identities for non-Americans.
The fatalistic hobo: Jacob Holdt, touring, and the other Americans




Main categories under "Reviews" menu:

Index of reviews

Interviews with Jacob Holdt   

Reviews of Jacob Holdt's museum exhibitions ....and life

Reviews of the show in the general media   

Reviews of the show in college papers 

Student reactions to the show  

Reviews of the book

Most academic reviews


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