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.
After "The Passion of the Christ" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," here is the latest film to go after your ideological dollar. Directed by Louis Schwartzberg, a cinematographer who specializes in time-lapse photography, "America's Heart and Soul" consists partly of sleek montages of standard patriotic imagery — bald eagles, the Statue of Liberty, Monument Valley, usually photographed with sunrises or sunsets in the background — and partly of thumbnail sketches of assorted Americans enjoying their constitutionally protected right to pursue happiness. But a lot of this activity — flying planes upside down, blowing up old television sets, fighting oil-well fires — looks like an adrenaline-fired way to escape the America the movie is ostensibly celebrating. — Dave Kehr
2004-07-02 | Dave Kehr | Read the New York Times Review of America's Heart and Soul