"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."
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?"
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......
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."
© 1997 AMERICAN PICTURES; All rights reserved.