• Director(s):

    DIDEK (Pierre-François)

  • Producer(s):

    FILMS EN VRAC (LES), ARTE FRANCE

  • Territories:

    Worldwide (except Luxembourg and Belgium).

  • Production year:

    2023

  • Language(s):

    German, English, French

  • Rights:

    TV, DVD, NON-THEATRICAL, INTERNET, VOD

The long-forgotten Documerica project, that was led by Nixon in the 1970s, aimed to draw a precise inventory of the environmental situation in the U.S. What stands out from the 80,000 photographs that were taken is that the Glorious Thirties turned the American Dream into a nightmare.

It's a project that has fallen off the radar of history.  A vast and unprecedented undertaking, as excessive as America itself, which was launched at the turn of the tumultuous 1970s. Its title: the Documerica project. Its goal: to"pictorially document the environmental movement in America during this decade" after thirty years of unbridled consumerism. For nearly 5 years, between 1972 and 1977, a hundred photographers roamed all 50 American states. They brought back nearly 80,000 color images from their missions encompassing the immensity of this country-continent. In their autumn years, some of these photographers look back on this project, whose echo resonates more than ever today, when the American Dream is fading away. Dilapidated towns, illegal garbage dumps, polluted rivers and deserts, there is a hint of the apocalypse wherever you go. The wrecked cars that litter the Great Plains are reminiscent of the buffalo carcasses left by the first setlers. Placed side by side, by accumulation, the images point to the blindness of "all oil" and the brutality of the American Way of Life. This ambiguous selfportrait was made at a time when America was the most fragile, in the midst of a social, economic, and political crisis, exacerbated by the Vietnam War. Embodying a moment of truth in a country that had reached the limits of its American Dream, The Documerica Project tells the story of America in its most paradoxical and intimate aspects, questioning all its great promises: the relationship with nature, the cult of consumerism, the dream of the melting pot, the individual and communities, and above all, freedom. But more importantly, it tells us that then and now, torn between the vision of a wild Eden and the brutal conquest of natural spaces, America seems incapable of ever making peace with Nature.