Behold The Promised Land

Ardele Lister

1991, 22:00 minutes, colour, English


It is the 4th of July. The premise of this tape is a simultaneous state-of-the-union interview with most of America. In Brooklyn, in Boston, in San Francisco, the interviewers talk with children, teenagers, older people, young "artsy" intellectual types, boys from the hood and shopkeepers. All are asked to define what it is to be an American and why it makes them proud. Their answers are filled with mis-, dis- and sub-information. Intercut with cleverly re-edited clips from the 1940's and 50's documentaries (post-war propaganda films, all touting the virtues of democracy), Behold... is a bleak view of what's wrong with America and what fuels the dream when the money runs out.

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Critical Writing

True Stories Well Told: The Independent Films and Videos of Ardele...
by Phyllis Gottlieb. Rutgers Focus, Feb. 18, 2000.
Brooklyn Artists Featured in Museum Videos
by Tom Wachunas. The Phoenix, Oct. 4, 1990.