American Stories


Time Out says

Chantal Akerman used to make great 'minimalist' movies in which very little yielded a lot. Here, sadly, she takes a lot and reduces it to a small pile of mush. The film opens with a fatuous (because completely ahistorical) evocation of the Manhattan skyline as a 'mythic' palace of dreams, and then launches into an interminable anthology of monologues and sketches about the Jewish immigrant experience, most of them played out in an open-air restaurant under the Williamsburg Bridge. The most ancient Jewish jokes are retold with agonising pedantry, and interspersed with ghetto sob stories, refugee memories, tales of persecution and pub-theatre-type recitations. Most of the material apparently comes from Isaac Bashevis Singer, but that's no excuse. Jewish culture was never this dull or maudlin.


Release details

95 mins

Cast and crew

Chantal Akerman
Chantal Akerman
Eszter Balint
Stefan Balint
Sharon Diskin
Victor Talmadge
Mark Amitin
Kirk Baltz
George Bartenieff
You may also like