Thursday, June 5, 2014

If You Could Say One Thing To America...

Me & Carmen the morning we set off for our 8 week adventure - Dear America
When I was 23, I quit my job, packed up my Toyota with a bag of clothes, stolen tapes, a borrowed video camera with a dead pixel, and my best friend and drove around the country interviewing kids between the ages of 18-30 about their country. The documentary was called Dear America and we interviewed over 100 young Americans in post 9-11, mid-Bush era. We were in Texas when Camp Casey was parked down the street from President Bush's Crawford ranch home. We were headed to New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. We were at Camp Pendleton, Jacksonville Naval Base, Ivy League schools, farms, malls, streets and homes. We asked twenty questions to each individual but the three questions I remember the most were:

If you could describe your generation in one word what would it be?

If you could say one thing to America, what would you say?

How do you want to be remembered?

It has been almost ten years since we shot that documentary - a documentary that I subsequently worked on for three years on two different coasts with two extremely talented editors, a number of gracious test viewers, Carmen, and the producer of the film who I had been dating before the shoot, throughout the shoot, and after. As my relationship with the producer ended, I decided the documentary needed to end, too. We wrapped it up, submitted it to festivals and ended up in Philadelphia at the International Independent Film Festival in 2008.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to re-interview some of the same people on the ten year anniversary and see how their views have changed or how their convictions have shaped the past decade. I wonder about some of these people who I spent hundreds of hours listening to, splicing their images together, and trying to construct a story of their words which at best came out more like a portrait of my generation. My generation which I keep hearing being referred to as "The Millennials." In 2005, no one was calling this generation Millennials. In fact, most of the people we interviewed were calling this generation "lazy" and "apathetic."

I still wonder what we really are. For anyone reading, I would so love to hear your answers to these questions now, whether I interviewed you or not. What are your answers to these questions? Have they changed in the past ten years? How do you want to be remembered now?


5 comments:

Wallace said...

I'll respond because it can be short.
1. Generational word: Lost
2. My message: Take it easy 'murica
3. Like to be remembered: As a tree.

Lindsey said...

Good ones.

Carmen said...

ok, i will do another drive x country and find our interviewees....for real. maybe for the real 10th reunion? next summer?!!! it could happen....

cant believe we are no longer a part of the "generation" we were targeting....30 seemed so far away back then.

i still find these questions difficult to answer.
maybe
1. distracted
2. less is more
3. as someone that cared about people (and trees)

daleboca said...

can we watch it again? where is it? remember m was a baby then! hmmm. one word for my generation? disappointed/ing. message to america: eat and whine less, appreciate and help more. i would like to be remembered as a wise and calm, kind, and giving person... but who are we kidding?

Lindsey said...

These are great!!