THE AMERICAN DREAM
a work in progress
I have been traveling throughout the US the last few years with camera in hand. As I made my way across the country screening my films and teaching workshops, I was also making a film. A documentary on The American Dream.
On the road, I talked to people from all walks of life, a conservative radio newsman in Pennsylvania, a retired phone company worker from the Mississippi Delta, a first generation Spanish Architect in St Louis, a Hari Krishna Book Store Owner, 2 twenty something Heavy Metal Coffee Shop Owners, a Laid-off Worker, a “street sociologist”, and countless others. And they all have something to say.
These people talk about their vision of the American Dream. Not just for them, but their parents, their children, and future generations. These are “on the street” interviews. I asked each person the same 5 questions. He rarely gets the same 5 answers.
We were raised to believe in the Horatio Alger myth. It doesn’t matter if you are poor, a new immigrant, or whatever, if you work hard you can succeed in this country. You can be rich, or at least comfortable. Is this still true?
After World War 2, Madison Avenue showed us images of houses in the suburbs, Dad going to work and Mom staying home to raise the kids. It was two cars and a TV set for everyone. The Suburbs were safe, people were friendly, and there were always lots of kids to play with. Many people moved to the suburbs. They wanted a piece of the American Dream.
Is there really an American Dream, or is it something Advertisers made up to move products and goods?
We hear stories on the news about the economy getting better, unemployment going down, people are buying, buying, buying. Are people really better off? Or are they working harder just to make ends meet. Are the rich getting richer and the poor and middle class being left behind?
I have injected myself in to this discussion. As a self-employed filmmaker for over 25 years, I recently sold my home to pay off mounting debts. I now live in a small apartment and spend 5 – 6 months a year on the road teaching workshops and showing my movies. Do I still believe in an American Dream?
In The American Dream, there are no experts in suits. There are no government officials, or journalists telling us how things are going. There are just real people talking about what they see and hear. Telling us if they still believe in an American Dream.
I have made 100 DVD’s of The American Dream, and that is all that will exist in this form. Eighteen, two – five minute segments. I am making these DVDs available for a limited time. Each one is numbered and signed.
The American Dream DVD $14.95 + Free S&H in the US.