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America's Heart & Soul (2004)

PG | | Documentary | 2 July 2004 (USA)
Filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg hits the road to capture America's people and its natural beauty.


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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





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 ...
Bike Messenger, New York, New York
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
Jazz Musician, New Orleans, Louisiana


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements.


Official Sites:



Release Date:

2 July 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| | |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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

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User Reviews

Have you even seen this movie???
1 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Take the word America out of the title of this movie and you wouldn't have half of the criticisms of it. The reviews that I have read of it have obviously not come from people who have seen this movie, and rather from people who feel compelled to regurgitate what their political science teachers have taught them about this country as a review for a movie they haven't seen. I say this not because I disagree with the reviews (which I do) but because the main user comment on IMDb doesn't have one line that pertains to the content of the movie. Rather, it gives us a 5 paragraph style essay about the importance of balance in your views of this country. "You have to look at the good and the bad".

And by the way, jingoism pertains to an expression of nationalism in regards to a belligerent foreign policy. Thus a movie strictly about people in a specific country could not be jingoistic unless those people were saying "WE WILL CONQUER THE WORLD!!!" So you could call the song "Let's Drop the Big One Now" by Randy Newman jingoistic, though I think it's supposed to be satirical, but this movie could not be. So stop using buzz words and concentrate on reality please.

If you had actually seen the movie you would realize that it could have been about people who live in Australia or Germany or on the fricken Moon! It's not about nationalism. In fact I did not hear one person say "America's the greatest country on earth and every other country is crap!".

It's simply an uplifting movie about people who enjoy life, and what obstacles they have overcome to achieve the level of happiness that they have grasped. None of them, not one, said anything nationalistic. But I have heard people say things like this "I've been broke, but I've never been poor." And I haven't seen any flag-waving. But I have seen a guy with severe cerebral palsy compete in a wheelchair race. I didn't see anything that made me happier to be an American, but I saw a lot of things that made me happy to be alive.

Overall it strikes me as a movie that Errol Morris (Mr. Death)or Chris Smith (American Movie) would have made before they sold out and decided to join ranks with Michael Moore and make their own versions of his movies.

And what I really liked about this movie was that it was a pure documentary. Meaning, that it didn't stretch reality, it merely presented a glimpse into these people's lives. It didn't give twisted statistics, or half truths. It did what a good documentary is supposed to do, show subjects in their environment and let them tell their story. through their actions and words.

I feel so sad for the people who approach this movie with the hatred that I have seen displayed on this board. It is simply indicative of a greater pessimism, not just towards America, but towards life in general. My advice to anyone who is reproached as a "nationalist" for liking this movie is this, ask the person who is admonishing you whether they have seen it or not. My guess is that the vast majority of the people on this site have not. Otherwise they would reserve their bile for a movie that actually does express a "jingoistic" (you fricken idiots) attitude towards America, if they can find one.

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