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America's Heart & Soul (2004)

 -  Documentary  -  1 May 2004 (USA)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 534 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 24 user | 31 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

Filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg hits the road to capture America's people and its natural beauty.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dairy Farmer, Waterbury, Vermont
Charles Jimmie Sr. ...
Tlingit Indian Elder, Klukwan, Alaska
The Vasquez Brothers ...
Frank Pino ...
Rock Band, Waltham, Massachusetts
David Pino ...
Rock Band, Waltham, Massachusetts
John 'Yac' Yacobellis ...
Patty Wagstaff ...
Acrobatic Flyer, St. Augustine, Florida
Paul Stone ...
Explosive Art, Creede, Colorado
Ed Holt ...
Wine Grower, Santa Maria, California
Weirton Steelworkers ...
Themselves, Weirton, West Virginia
Cecil Williams ...
Himself - Glide Church, San Francisco, California (as Rev. Cecil Williams)
Janice Miriktani ...
Executive Director, Glide Church, San Francisco, California
David Krakauer ...
Klezmer Clarinetist, New York, New York
James Andrews ...
Jazz Musician, New Orleans, Louisiana
Trombone Shorty ...
Jazz Musician, New Orleans, Louisiana
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Storyline

America is a vast country--three thousand miles from end to end. But it's not the land that makes America so special--it's the people. Filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg packed-up his camera and hit the road, with a goal of capturing both the unparalleled beauty of the land and the incomparable spirit of the people. He connects with people, capturing their values, dreams, and passion in a journey that reveals the stories--unusual, captivating, inspiring and emotional--that make Americans into something more than a collection of individuals. It's a celebration of a nation told through the voices of its people. Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Documentary

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Release Date:

1 May 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$184,917 (USA) (2 July 2004)

Gross:

$314,000 (USA) (23 July 2004)
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Company Credits

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Features Farther Than the Eye Can See (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A glowing film about the best of American life.
26 May 2004 | by (San Diego, CA) – See all my reviews

America's Heart and Soul is one of the first documentaries to emerge from Disney in many years. It is easy to see why they selected this project for distribution -- it is upbeat, beautifully shot, and filled with enough stock quirky American characters to provide a counterpoint to the otherwise dramatic material. The film shares some features with the 360-degree surround films that have been a staple in the Disney theme parks -- the scenes are short vignettes featuring the lives of ordinary (and not so ordinary) Americans interspersed with soaring aerial shots of America's golden landscape.

Especially noteworthy are the stories of Michael Bennett, a convict turned Olympian; Erik Weihenmayer, a blind mountain climber; and Rick and Dick Hoyt, a father/son marathon team (Rick is paraplegic). Humor is provided by Paul Stone, and "artist" whose medium is explosives, and the folks at the Art Car Festival. But for sheer beauty it is hard to beat the segment on the Bandaloop Cliff Dancers.

Part biography, part travelogue, this film is not a documentary about American life as it is -- the gritty side of our nation is conspicuously absent. Instead it is a glowing portrait of what we deem best -- freedom (including the freedom to be incredibly silly), family, cultural diversity, caring, and determination. It's not a reality-check, it is a glorious vision. And, despite what some snootier critics might think, that's not always a bad thing. America's Heart and Soul is a great family film for anyone looking to see what's good and beautiful about America.


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