Histoires d'Amérique: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989)

  |  Drama


Histoires d'Amérique: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989) Poster

The stories of Jewish immigrants in New York City are told with characteristic humor.


6.8/10
70

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


20 April 2006 | Quinoa1984
8
| it's sub-title: Family and Philosophy, almost tells all
This is the first film I've seen by Chantal Ackerman, and I'm mixed as to see more of her films. I see so much here, even as I have personal criticisms of certain things in her style. I wondered when the film would end at times (not knowing the running time seeing it), and its shifting between rye, sly Jewish jokes and sad tales of Jews escaping the horrors (or not) of holocaust and the working-class immigrant's life, is very unexpected. But then again, the film has the feel of being a hybrid of documentary and fiction, with actors (there's character Kirk Baltz somewhere in there) and perhaps non-actors or really off-off Broadway people. As I was told, this is in the tradition of black-box theater, in particular Jewish ones, and its filmed with an invariable European feel and mood by Ackerman. Certain jokes were very amusing (there's even one that was featured in Coming to America!), and others that reminded me of the 'it's not funny but hmm' feeling of those in Jarmusch films.

The stories told are very long, and the shot-lengths go neck-and-neck in competition with other art-house filmmakers to be some of the longer ones in cinematic memory. Sometimes there is movement to the film, as in the brief, interesting conversations with the older characters. And there is some nice, understated dialog in the 'restaurant' scenes. It's really for a specific audience, and is unique for better or worse, the kind of underground movie that has a lot to ponder about the Jewish-American (and European, mostly Polish, Jewish) experience. Some of the stories, indeed, are rather horrific in scope, while others question what life is living in the less-classy side of the city of New York. And the film is given not only a beautiful opening image of the city from a small boat, but a brilliant end scene with an old man in the middle of a field, recanting a very sweet story. Hard to find (watched it in a class), and was glad to watch, once, as a good introduction to Ackerman.

More Like This

The Meetings of Anna

The Meetings of Anna

Golden Eighties

Golden Eighties

South

South

The Captive

The Captive

A Couch in New York

A Couch in New York

Nuit et jour

Nuit et jour

Je Tu Il Elle

Je Tu Il Elle

Tomorrow We Move

Tomorrow We Move

Toute une nuit

Toute une nuit

Down There

Down There

News from Home

News from Home

From the East

From the East

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

Details

Release Date:

4 October 1989

Language

French


Country of Origin

Belgium, France

Filming Locations

New York City, New York, USA

Must-See August Movies and TV Shows

Check out our editors' picks for a breakdown of the movies and shows we're excited about this month, including "Lovecraft Country," coming soon to HBO.

See our picks list

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com