Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action

Watch Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action

  • 2011
  • 1 hr 22 min

Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action is a potent documentary that traverses the United States at a time when the country is wrestling with the effects of economic downturn and political turmoil. Directed by Michael Fox and Silvia Leindecker, who are not only filmmakers but also social activists, the film dissects the complex social and economic landscape of America during the late 2000s, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis that began in 2008. Throughout the movie, Fox and Leindecker provide both a panoramic and an intimate look into the lives of ordinary Americans who have been impacted by these crises.

The documentary was conceived out of a desire to understand and document the very real human toll of the Great Recession and to explore the growing dissatisfaction with the status quo that seemed to be swelling across the country. Fox and Leindecker, journeying over 12,000 miles across the United States, uncover a narrative of resilience, challenge, and the quest for change.

The structure of Crossing The American Crises is episodic, punctuated by interviews with a wide range of individuals—workers, scholars, activists, and everyday citizens. Each person interviewed adds a different voice and perspective, ensuring that the documentary offers a rich, diverse tapestry of American experiences. The filmmakers approach these interviews with a compassionate eye, seeking to understand the personal stories behind the statistics and the news headlines. The result is a humanizing account that offers depth and nuance, avoiding the oversimplification often found in media portrayals of crises.

At its heart, Crossing The American Crises is an examination of the proverbial American Dream in the context of a nation grappling with significant setbacks. It shines a light on socioeconomic issues such as job loss, foreclosure, and healthcare, which were thrust into sharp relief by the recession. However, rather than merely cataloging despair, the documentary unearths stories of community-driven solutions and empowered citizens striving for systemic change. The filmmakers show a nation at the crossroads, where the disillusionment of collapse coexists with a budding momentum for action and reform.

The documentary does not shy away from critiquing systemic failures, addressing the disconnection between Wall Street and Main Street, presenting the perspective that the financial crisis was not merely an economic downturn but also a result of deeper structural flaws in the American economic system. It hints at the corporate influence in government and the impact this has on policy, democracy, and the lives of the average American.

Fox and Leindecker’s journey takes them to various locations, from the heartland to the coasts, from urban centers devastated by industrial decline to rural areas struggling to adapt to a new economic reality. The film captures the geographical diversity of the American socioeconomic condition, suggesting that despite the varied landscapes, many citizens share common struggles and a collective yearning for change.

Throughout the documentary, the filmmakers also examine the various forms of activism and grassroots movements that began to rise in response to the crises, setting the stage for later movements like Occupy Wall Street which emerged shortly after. The viewer is introduced to individuals and groups organizing to take on the challenges head-on, whether through community organizing, protesting, or forming cooperatives. These stories are portrayed as the seeds of potential transformation and serve as a testament to the American spirit of resilience and innovation.

Visually, Crossing The American Crises juxtaposes scenes of hardship with those of activism, evoking a powerful emotional response and compelling the viewer to consider the real-world implications of economic policy and governance. This imagery serves to reinforce the central message of the film: that out of crisis can come a call to action that might ultimately lead to positive change.

In terms of cinematic style, Fox and Leindecker employ a mix of handheld footage, interviews, and scenes of daily life which together provide an authenticity to the film’s message. The documentary's editing rhythmically aligns with the ebb and flow of the stories it tells – sometimes frantic and chaotic, sometimes slow and reflective, mirroring the varying states of American life during this period.

Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action draws no simple conclusions, offering instead a canvas on which the audience can reflect upon the recent past and consider future directions. For those interested in the intersection of economic hardship, political mobilization, and the quest for a more equitable society, the documentary offers informative, thought-provoking content that goes beyond mere observation to inspire dialogue and, as the title suggests, action.

Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action is a 2011 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Where to Watch Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action
Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime, FlixFling and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent Crossing The American Crises: From Collapse To Action for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 22 min