An American Dilemma

Directed by Vital Pictures
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Retelling the creation of Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal’s groundbreaking study, An American Dilemma, this film compares Myrdal’s discoveries and findings to the conditions of race relations and social equity in our society today.  Since the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, the view of America from outside the democracy has offered a critical perspective on the American experiment. Our extraordinary presidential elections have moved the nation and the world into a new era, offering a perfect moment to reexamine the meaning of our American Creed, just as Myrdal did in American Dilemma in the 1940s.  The energy of this film will draw on the creative forms Vital Pictures developed in Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness – provocative animation, original photomontage re-enactments, rarely seen audio and film recordings all propelling the narrative of the creation of Myrdal’s monumental work.
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Vital Pictures

Llewellyn M. Smith President of Vital Pictures, Inc, contributed as a writer/producer to such celebrated PBS series as Eyes On The Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years and the critically acclaimed PBS history series American Experience, where as Series Editor he played a key role in origination, development and acquisition of more than 70 programs on American history.  For the acclaimed 3-hour PBS series RACE: The Power Of An Illusion, Smith produced the program The House We Live In.  Smith was also co-executive producer for the duPont Columbia award winning PBS series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Most recently, Smith was the director/producer for Herskovits At the Heart Of Blackness.

Christine Herbes-Sommers Vice President of Vital Pictures, Inc., has produced a wide range of PBS documentaries and dramas, earning her an Emmy nomination, a duPont Columbia Award for her ground breaking documentary Joan Robinson-One Woman’s Story, several Cine Golden Eagles and many other awards. She is Executive producer of Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness; was Senior Series Producer for Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, the duPont Columbia award winning four hour PBS series and major outreach campaign on health and social injustice broadcast in 2008.

Kelly Thomson Co-Producer was the Series Associate Producer for the four part series, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick and was recently Associate Producer for the one-hour, Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness.  She has worked on a number of independent films and shorts over the past ten years including Untamed, Hotels 4, All Falls Down, Milk, A Vote for Choice, and Funeral of the Last Gypsy King. Kelly Thomson received her BA from New York University in Religious Studies.
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Funding for An American Dilemma provided by: Fletcher Fund, ITVS and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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