• Français
  • English
  • Français
  • English

An American Journey : In Robert Frank’s footsteps

A film by Philippe Séclier


In contemporary photography, everybody agrees there is a “before” and an “after” THE AMERICANS, Robert Frank’s 1958 photographic manifesto.
Half a century later, French director Philippe Séclier decided to follow in Robert Frank’s footsteps to explore the spirit of the “Beat Generation” and the impact of his book not only on the art of photography, but also on American culture. From Texas to Montana, from Nebraska to Louisiana, from New York to San Francisco, "An American Journey" is a 15,000 miles odyssey through contemporary America, moving between past and present, photography and cinema, and two Americas, separated by time.

Theatrical release

USA September 2009


The George Foundation – Ernst Göhner Stiftung – Eurodoc

Technical film summary

French title : "Un voyage américain : Sur les traces de Robert Frank"
Genre : Documentary
Format : Video - 58’
Year of production : 2009
Production : Silex Films (France)
Co-producers : Selenium Films (France), Muse Films & Television (USA)
US Distribution : Kino Lorber
DVD France : Independencia Editions
DVD USA : Kino Lorber
International sales : 10Francs
Festivals : Pascale Ramonda
Produced by : Priscilla Bertin – Elisa Larriere – Judith Nora
Co-producer : Vincent Juillerat (Selenium Films)
Co-producers : Ira Resnick (Muse Films & Television)
Cinematography : Philippe Séclier
Editing : Pauline Gaillard
Sound editing : Carole Verner
Mix : Benjamin Viau
Color grading : Eric Salleron
Music : Karol Beffa
Filming location : France, USA, China, Switzerland, Germany

Festival selections

Festival Visions du Réel (official selection), Nyon, Switzerland
Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium
VIENNALE, Vienna International Film Festival, Austria
Kaunas International Film Festival, Lithuania
Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea
Dryden Theater, Rochester, USA
Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin, Italy
Detroit Film Theater, Detroit, USA
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA
Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), USA
28è FIFA Festival International du film sur l'art de Montréal, Canada
Northwest Film Center, Portland, USA
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Missoula, Montana, USA
Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, USA
Cleveland Cinematheque, Ohio, USA
Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, USA
Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
Les Montreurs d'Images, Agen, France
Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA
Tallahassee Film Society, Florida, USA
Film Forum, New York, USA
MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA
Jeu de Paume (mars 2009), Paris, France

Press review

« Philippe Séclier a eu le talent de retrouver tous ces gens, toutes ces choses derrière chaque image. » Robert Frank (LE MONDE)

« Entre le passé et le présent, entre témoignages et souvenirs, un voyage fascinant dans le temps et un bel hommage à Robert Frank » (LA COTE)

Un voyage américain dans le top 25 « des 40 films que tout photographe doit avoir vu sur le traitement de la photographie » (resource magazine)

“The only thing wrong with French filmmaker Philippe Seclier’s ‘An American Journey’ is that it’s too short.” (TALLAHASSEE.COM)

‘An American journey’ is top 25 in “the 40 movies about photography every photographer should watch” (resource magazine)

“Séclier gives us the essence of Franck’s vision as understood by his own” Stanley Kauffmann (THE NEW REPUBLIC)