Amsterdam Stories USA

Rob Rombout, Rogier van Eck, Belgium, 2012, color, DCP, 360'
Synopsis

The Netherlands has left its mark on the United States. Filmmakers Rob Rombout and Rogier van Eck track that history across the continent in their search for towns called Amsterdam. Their quest begins with a nostalgic take on the history of the Netherlands in the U.S., including a bit on the Holland Society in New York. This is followed by a collection of stories from average Americans, often living in rural areas. The journey takes us to many states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, California. In each Amsterdam, we meet one or two key figures who offer a picture of America's past and present as seen through the eyes of its citizens. They look back on benchmark historical events, such as Kennedy's assassination and the Vietnam War, but more often than not their stories and experiences are very personal. The filmmakers apply a rigid style to the four sections - the four compass points - of this six-hour film, and they appear in the film themselves, adding a philosophical and sometimes comical note between the portraits and a more reflective stance in their voice-over.

First Hand
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