American Journal

    Journal d’Amérique

    • Arnaud des Pallières
    • France
    • 2022
    • 112 min
    • Dutch Premiere
    • Masters

    Farmers hunting pheasant in the Midwest, a fleet of warships in the ocean, the wedding of an elderly couple, and a boy who deliberately throws a dog off a riverbank that’s impossible to climb. Arnaud des Pallières combines this and other archive footage that never made it to the cinema to illustrate the American dream and the sometimes-appalling American reality.

    There is no dialogue, but constantly changing excerpts of music set the tone, from naively cheerful to darkly threatening. Idiosyncratic intertitles recount childhood memories, anecdotes and an allegory about people turning into sharks.

    American Journal takes the form of a historical road trip in the guise of an anonymous diary. The film breathes a romantic longing for the time when the US was the undisputed center of the world. But what begins with euphoric musings about a fishing trip with father ends in a nightmare about war, indoctrination and crude consumer culture.

    Nominated for Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award

    Credits

    • 112 min
    • color / black and white
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: -, No dialogue
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    Arnaud des Pallières
    Production
    Michel Klein
    Cinematography
    Arnaud des Pallières
    Editing
    Arnaud des Pallières
    World Sales
    Pascale Ramonda

    IDFA history

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