Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
On his way to record the wonders of Cuban communism for prosperity, Danish radical Jacob Holdt was waylaid in the United States and instead spent five years photographing the "misery of the capitalistic system." He organized his images into logical segments and combined them with interviews, narration, and music to produce this five-hour documentary. Actually -- and unfortunately -- Holdt did not have to dramatize his narrative, but simply let the victims (perceived or real) speak for themselves in a slide show format that elicited bravos from the Danish left (who inevitably compared Holdt to famed photographer Jacob A. Riis) and condemnation from the right. Holdt's "American pictures" created quite a bit of furor when originally shown in Denmark, especially after its creator announced that he had only managed to survive in the "Land of the Free" by selling his blood to a blood bank!