Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958) transformed the landscape of contemporary photography. An exile from Europe, Frank criss-crossed the United States with his camera, searching for the uncomfortable truths of his adopted home. The resulting book was the defining work of photographic art in the 20th century.
Fifty years later, French director Philippe Seclier decided to follow in his footsteps, retracing his path step by step. He explores the spirit of the “Beat Generation” by examining the impact of Frank’s book, not only on the art of photography, but also on American culture. He tracks down the subjects of the photos, while also eliciting thoughts and comments from painter Ed Ruscha, photographer Raymond Depardon, and a series of leading historians and curators. From Texas to Montana, from Nebraska to Louisiana, from New York to San Francisco, An American Journey is a 15,000 mile odyssey through contemporary America, moving between past and present, photography and cinema – beautifully capturing the wandering spirit of Robert Frank’s legendary journey.