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American Psyche
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Reviews & Ratings for
American Psyche More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Multiple perspectives and opinions

8/10
Author: Vanessa Martin from Spain
20 January 2011

I saw this movie at the Vallodolid Film Festival in Spain, and was surprised by the alternative and somewhat refreshing angle the director took on trying to represent the social climate in America after 9/11. I expected to see a narrative of either very pro, or anti-bush sentiment... a documentary with a single mandate or message in mind that conclusively summed up an 'American' way of thinking. Instead I heard multiple perspectives and opinions in the film, that as a whole managed to ask very insightful and serious questions about America, and future of the country. The editing pattern, which divides the film into themes and overriding questions, collages together multiple interviews conducted with 'regular people' the filmmakers met while taking a road trip across the United States.

I felt like I had access to the ground level sentiments and concerns of a wide range of people, not just the news cycle headlines. Opinions and perspectives on the various topics were collaged together, juxtaposed and overlapped, so that over-reaching concerns of the people could be foregrounded regardless of their background and political affiliations.

One weakness the film has however, is that it sets out to do too much, covering everything from 9/11 to capitalism to Iraq and (former) President George Bush. While the number of topics discussed were each very fascinating, it could have been stronger if 3 or 4 topics had been more tightly addressed rather then the 7 or 8 topics the film tries to carry. However, by not parcelling a declarative message or conclusive stance on such topics, the film maintained an openness to all kinds of thoughts and opinions. Sometimes this means the film leaves a weaker impression on the audience, but is nice to have such an experience contrasted with the highly pre-digested messages of other documentaries.

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