a postcard from Arizona


On television and in the movies, the last few months have seen a plethora of documentaries on Trump’s America and this wave is likely to continue beyond the mandate of the current President of the United States. After the astonishment of the election, we understand the interest aroused by the voters of the new president and the documentary opportunity offered to filmmakers wishing to report on their daily lives and their convictions. In turn, the filmmaker of Bavarian origin Claus Drexel sets his camera down in Arizona, in a small town crossed by the famous Route 66, just before the second round of the presidential election. The documentary unfolds to the rhythm of the testimonies of these Americans, often pro-Trump, sometimes fervent defenders of the carrying of weapons, and of some non-voters or voters of Bernie Sanders who evoke their distress but also the feeling of attending a presidential election. as terrifying as it is exciting.

Punctuating these interviews with fixed views on the architecture of the city or on very folkloric interiors, Claus Drexel presents to us the face of a picturesque America, plunged into the past, without renewing or teaching us more than anything that has been said until then about these rural regions plunged into eternal decline. Blame it on a documentary filmmaker’s gaze renewing the sterile amazement that can arise in contact with these Americans with sometimes extreme opinions. Too concerned with fine-tuning his postcard, the director confusedly accumulates the interviews without giving them any direction. The whole has the effect of being less a documentary than an umpteenth tourist visit to a trendy destination.

American documentary by Claus Drexel (1 h 22).

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