America’s Heart and Soul is a beautiful new 90 minute film to be released for the July 4th weekend. If you are tired of overlong “patriotic” disaster films, then let yourself be inspired by this contemplative road (and air) trip around the USA.
Over the last 10 years, filmmaker Louis Swartzberg has collected and now created a montage of “voices” and faces that tell their stories of what freedom in America means – and these meanings include everything from freedom from alcoholism to the freedom of dance, family and very excentric (and entertaining) forms of art-making.
I have two observations that keep the film from being a 5 out of 5 for me: all the way through I longed to hear the voices and stories of more women. There are only about three women’s stories compared to maybe 15 men’s stories; and the film lacks Asian representation on the same scale that men’s stories and images are represented – and there was no Islamic representation at all.
I would give anything to see such a fine effort that give front stage to women, children and other minorities.
I must add that there is one story about “cliff dancers” that is visually stunning. I have never seen or heard of such an art (sport?) and it literally blew me away.
But it is Swarzberg’s film and as such, it is a good, even impressive, watch.