A Crisis of Faith / the American Dilemma
In the light of the terrorist attacks of 11 September of this year, this documentary has acquired a pressing topicality. The maker looks for an answer to the question what is wrong with American society and the position that the ‘most powerful country’ occupies in the world. Seven themes are broached, including progress, oppression, secularisation and commitment. In a combination of talking heads and a collage of historical footage, modern painting and video art, it is demonstrated that Western man is predominantly driven by greed and fear. And that economy and science have replaced religion and self-knowledge. ‘In this culture, we are told what we should be like, and we forget to look at who we are’, is an explanation for the frightening void tangible in present-day society. ‘Society is like a house they started to construct on the first floor. We are immediately presented with all kinds of doctrines, answers and explanations that we did not ask for. The foundations are lacking.’ In which case, as was so painfully proven recently, it is just a matter of time before the whole structure collapses.