The Making of Americans

1973 - 1974

Dir. Roberta Friedman, 16mm B/W Sound 00:15:00

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The Making of Americans is based on the idea that the essential nature of a thing or person can be revealed in an appropriate presentation of surface features. The film is composed of three movements: a pan through a landscape of objects which outline a woman's lifetime, an accelerating chorus of six women reading from gertrude stein's novel, and finally, candid snatches of each woman in her own environment. A major concern of the film is with the fragility of language which loses and gains sense as the middle section progresses. Through repetition and overlapping the words spoken sometimes lose their usual meanings and the voices of the women serve to betray their individuality rather than to impart the linguistic messages.