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Route One USA (Robert Kramer, 1989)

The screening will start at 5:30pm due to the duration of the film.

Xcèntric 2023

Drawing the world. "Route One/USA", by Robert Kramer


Filmed over five years during a journey from north to south along the East Coast of the United States, Route One/USA is a portrait of people and landscapes through the attentive eyes of a doctor, Doc, the fictional alter ego of filmmaker Robert Kramer who made this film after 10 years of self-exile in France. It is a mythical, monumental work that records a journey of over 5000 kilometres in more than four hours of footage, in which film diary, essay film, mockumentary and road movie come together.

After making a series of films to chronicle civil rights struggles, anti-war protests and anti-imperialist efforts in Venezuela or Vietnam; forming part of the counter-information film collective Newsreel and questioning the notions of activism and political participation; after having thoroughly examined the social and historical fabric that remained at the end of the Vietnam War, and finally, taking the path towards exile in Europe, the filmmaker constantly asks himself the same question: how can we talk about our political project of revolution in another way?

Like a river, Route One/USA spills out in many different directions: there is no method, the journey determines the film. Taking up a position behind the camera, Kramer makes this documentary with the fictional character from his previous film, Doc’s Kingdom (1987), a doctor played by journalist and friend Paul McIsaac. The US territory lies like a patient waiting to be examined: between the people, the landscapes and the statues, the fissures of a history of slavery, militarism and imperialism are revealed. However, the film is also a lyrical experience, making its way with readings of Walt Whitman, passing by Walden Pond and Native American reservations, and tirelessly probing, in a severely affected nervous system, this part of the earth that continues to resist.

Route One/USA, Robert Kramer, United States, 1989, 16 mm, 255’, Spanish subtitles

DCP screening. Copy provided by Les Films d’ici.

Directors: Robert Kramer

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2023

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