This documentary interviews approximately 100 Americans selected in a totally random manner. The topics discussed include religion, politics, race relations, our government, and what it means to be an American in general. Are your views mainstream? Do you find yourself in agreement with the average American? Take a few minutes to find out!
Here is what the producers had to say about this excellent production:
Were you ever curious to know what people across the country think about themselves, our country, and you? Diverse, constantly changing, culturally isolated… the American people are difficult to define. Can there be such a thing as a typical American?
The Average American is a feature-length documentary film that introduces the viewer to 100 ordinary Americans who roughly reflect the population of the U.S. (according to the 2000 U.S. Census) with regards to age, race, gender, and state of residence. The randomly-selected 100 hail from 44 of the 50 states—from big cities, small towns, and every place in between. They run the gamut from the poorest citizens to those in the upper classes, from recent immigrants to people so entrenched in American life that they don’t know the nationalities of their ancestors, from high school drop-outs to college professors. Some are world travelers, while others have never ventured beyond the borders of their home state.
By avoiding labels such as liberal, conservative, Republican, or Democrat, the film avoids meaningless political rhetoric and delves beneath the labels to bring to light the ways we are all the same—and also the ways we are different. Understanding and tolerance is now more important than ever as our nation grows more and more politically polarized, often to the point of blind hatred for those on the other side of the political fence.
The piece explores the concept of the American identity, as invisible as it sometimes seems. The subjects discuss everyday issues such as personal worries and dreams. They discuss race relations and discrimination; religion and its influence on our society and government; poverty and class issues; gay marriage and other civil rights issues; the media and how it influences us; the role of the U.S. government at home and abroad; and how capitalism shapes our society.
Historical facts and results from national opinion polls are dispersed throughout the piece. Essentially holding up a mirror to our society, the goal of the film is to foster a broader understanding of who and what America is, as well as to identify the problems that we face as a nation—not only for Americans ourselves, but for anyone who is interested in getting to know us as a people.