America at a Crossroads America at a Crossroads
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The Anti-Americans (a hate/love relationship)

In the Film

Les Guignols De L’info

Les Guignols De L’info

Les Guignols De L’info (“The News Puppets”) is a long-running fake-news show on France’s Canal Plus cable station that features giant puppets offering a satirical take on the day’s news.  Hugely popular in France, it uses several different Sylvester Stallone puppets to represent American political, economic, and military power.  See more clips at www.guignols.com.Off-site link

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The Lycee Henri IV

The Lycee Henri IV

The Lycee Henri IV is one of France’s most prestigious public schools.  Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, its graduates are expected to go on to top positions in government, business and the arts.

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Michael Lonstar

Michael Lonstar

Michael Lonstar is one of Poland’s leading country-western performers.  He fell in love with American music by listening to illicit Voice of America broadcasts during the Communist era, and over time has mastered many American popular music idioms.  He writes original country-western songs in Polish that reflect the concerns of his fellow Poles.   Learn more about him at www.lonstar.plOff-site link

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A London Dinner Party

A London Dinner Party

A London Dinner Party turned out to be an ideal place to listen to the thoughts of educated Londoners on America’s position in the world, and to realize how closely American culture is intertwined with their lives.  Guests include a photographer, fashion designer, journalists, academics, and an accountant.

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Also featured in the film is a wide range of background interviews with Europeans from all walks of life. Here are a few participants:

 

Pascal Bruckner

Pascal Bruckner

Pascal Bruckner is a novelist and public intellectual who writes frequently on the major issues facing European culture today.  Bruckner's novel Bitter Moon was made into a film by Roman Polanski. His other works include The Temptation of Innocence: Living in the Age of Entitlement, Lunes de fiel, Parias, and The Tears of the White Man: Compassion as Contempt.  He is an active supporter of the U.S. cause and the invasion of Iraq.

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Wojciech Cejrowski

Wojciech Cejrowski

Wojciech Cejrowski is a Polish author and television personality as well as an accomplished anthropological photographer.  He learned standup comedy when he was a student in the United States. 
More about CejrowskiOff-site link

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Agnieszka Graff

Agnieszka Graff

Agnieszka Graff received a degree in English Language and Literature from Amherst College in the United States in 1993 and later studied literature at Oxford University in Great Britain. Since 2000, she has been an assistant professor at the Center for American Studies at the University of Warsaw. Graff published her best-selling first book, Świat bez kobiet (A World without Women) in 2001. 

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Grand Boulevard

Grand Boulevard

Grand Boulevard is an aspiring French hip-hop duo from the outskirts of Paris.  Led by Charaf Tajer and Mehdi Elattar, they are big admirers of the American master of crunk, Lil Jon.

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Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop is editor of the satirical British magazine Private Eye.  He appears frequently on British television and writes for several comedy programs in England.

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Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Henley-on-Thames.  He is a novelist, political columnist, and media star in the U.K.  More about Johnson and his work at www.boris-johnson.comOff-site link

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Tony Judt

Tony Judt

Tony Judt is a British-born historian and public intellectual living in New York, where he is the director of the Erich Maria Remarque Institute at New York University.  His massive history of Europe, Postwar, was published in 2005.

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David McWilliams

David McWilliams

David McWilliams is a leading Irish sociologist and writer who makes frequent appearances on Irish television.  His book The Pope’s Children was the best-selling Irish nonfiction book of 2006.  Learn more about McWilliams and his work at www.davidmcwilliams.ieOff-site link

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Clotaire Rapaille

Clotaire Rapaille

Clotaire Rapaille is a cultural anthropologist and marketing expert.  Born in Paris, he has become an American citizen and advises American corporations on dealing with cultural differences.  He explained his theories in his book The Culture Code.  Learn more at www.archetypediscoveriesworldwide.comOff-site link.

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Christine Ockrent

Christine Ockrent

Christine Ockrent is one of France’s most respected television journalists and the host of a weekly public affairs program on France-3.  She was one of the first female news anchors on French TV, and was a regular on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

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Gregori Rybak & Zbigniew Hubert Skudniewski

Gregori Rybak & Zbigniew Hubert Skudniewski

Gregori Rybak & Zbigniew Hubert Skudniewski are veteran taxi drivers and union activists in Warsaw.

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Will Self

Will Self

Will Self is one of Britain’s leading novelists.  His work includes My Idea of Fun and the recent The Book of Dave.  He can be found at www.will-self.com.Off-site link

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Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas

Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee

Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee are the creators of Jerry Springer The Opera, which became an unlikely hit on London’s West End several years ago.  Stewart Lee is also a popular standup comedian. Read more at www.stewartlee.co.uk.Off-site link

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Maciej Wierzynski

Maciej Wierzynski

Maciej Wierzynski is a leading Polish political commentator and host of a public affairs program on the Polish news channel TVN24.  Blacklisted as a journalist under the Communist regiime, he emigrated to the US in the 1980s and worked at the Voice of America before returning to Warsaw in the last few years.

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White Cholera

White Cholera

White Cholera is composed of two Irish musicians, Eanna Hickey and David Blake, who have been making politically-tinged music laced with clever wordplay since 2003.  Read their lyrics and hear downloads at www.whitecholera.comOff-site link

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America at a Crossroads is a production of WETA Washington, D.C.
All Rights Reserved. Published July 2006
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