Friday, April 12, 2024
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Simon Callow features in documentary about Orson Welles

The year 1947 was pivotal for the United States and its formation as a 20th Century cultural and military superpower. A new film, American : An Odyssey to 1947 explains how that came about and asks what it means to be American.

In the early 1940s, lauded film director Orson Welles navigates his meteoric Hollywood rise after the success of Citizen Kane. As WWII begins, a Japanese American boy visits abroad, and an African American soldier enlists in the army. As the story heads towards 1947, each character follows their own ambitions in search of their American identity.

Following the rise and fall of Welles, while interweaving stories of diverse individuals amidst the backdrop of the Great Depression, World War II, and the dropping of the atomic bomb, director’ Danny Wu’s American : An Odyssey to 1947 sheds light on the defining moments that shaped the destinies of the subjects, and the nation’s collective consciousness.

The film features archival footage of Welles, and commentary of Simon Callow as him self. American screened at the Austin Film Festival, and the It’s All True International Documentary Festival. In a review by David Walsh for WSWS, he describes that “In a short period of time, he has developed an important understanding of some of the most vexing problems of the mid-20th century.”

Walsh claimed the film as evidence that “a new generation of artists, free from the cynicism and many of the prejudices of the past several decades, is emerging.”

The tone of the film is split into two halves, with the first half being about the romantic rise of Welles, a great American film director, and the second half transitioning into the realities of race and life in the Jim Crow era. In the end, as one American returns home, another American is forced into exile.

Written, directed, edited, and produced by Danny Wu, the captivating documentary premieres on digital platforms September 12 from Gravitas Ventures and will screen in select theaters (beginning in New York on September 8) during the Fall.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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