My America

(2014)

directed by Hal Hartley, 78 minutes

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Center Stage asked a number of American playwrights, "What is my America?" The responses, ranging from the political to the personal, form a tapestry of ideas.

"Who are you, America?" To mark its fiftieth anniversary, the prestigious Baltimore, Maryland theater Center Stage asked fifty celebrated writers to create monologues answering that question, then entrusted independent film icon Hal Hartley with filming the results. This feature version draws on twenty-one of those wildly disparate explorations. Their voices include a beauty pageant contestant who'll never win a prize for brains; a U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan; a man talking about his crack-addicted sister and another whose selling of "ten dollars of pot" led to a life in prison; a minster whose views on gays differ from his congregation; a crusty dowager worried about her coddled descendants; and a 1960s-bred free spirit still flying the freak flag decades later. There is room for an absurdist historical lesson as well as an entirely sung baseball anecdote. By turns angry, comic, political and poetical, MY AMERICA is a smorgasbord of distinctive character snapshots offering plenty of virtuoso acting and idiosyncratic style. - Dennis Harvey

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2 members found this review helpful Created about 1 month ago.

Many of these dramatic monologues had moments of brilliance, a couple were outright brilliant, and a few were too heavy-handed for my taste. Well worth watching, and very well acted throughout.

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