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America as Seen by a Frenchman
(L’Amérique insolite)

Directed by François Reichenbach.
France, 1960, DCP, color, 90 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: AGFA

In 1960, the documentary filmmaker and traveler François Reichenbach gathered together some of the images he had recorded during his many trips to the United States during the late 1950s. He composes an amused, intrigued and often fascinated portrait of a country in full post-WWII boom, a country that was also, at the time, very different from France or Europe—in both its modern and creative aspects and its rigid, conservative edges. If the distance of time gives it a certain exoticism, sometimes a form of naivety, especially in the commentary (the director had refused the sharper version written by Chris Marker), it also tells the European perception of a country where, before the others, youth has already become a force and a model.

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