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    A sense of place

    UNITED STATES: A portrait of today’s USA through immaculately composed shots of landscape, cityscape and the spaces in between.

    Making the most of James Benning’s new film, The United States of America requires a kind of commitment. You have to agree to engage with it by bringing something of your own: presence, a sense of slowing down. You have to align a sense of inner quiet with the screen, let go, and just be there – almost like in meditation. Otherwise, you only see a slideshow, a sequence, which means missing what the film truly has to give.

    The United States of America, a film by James Benning
    The United States of America, a film by James Benning

    Visual poetry

    If you are looking for narrative, you won’t find it here, but the film tells a story that works just like poetry. The meanings and the metaphors in the film are sometimes obvious, but mostly not. Mostly it’s up to the viewer to engage in a slow act of contemplation so that ‘the story’ – not in a traditional sense . . .

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    Bianca-Olivia Nita
    Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
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