Glimpses of the U.S.A. Film

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1959

For its first USSR-USA cultural exchange, the United States Information Agency (U.S.I.A.) commissioned the Eames Office to make this film on “a day in the life of the United States.”

The thirteen-minute film was narrated by Charles Eames. It was projected onto seven twenty-by-thirty foot screens, which were installed in a 250-foot diameter geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller, in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park.

The multiple images communicated what no typical lecture could. They demonstrated that, for better or worse, highways and automobiles were part of the fabric of American life; however, the images also depicted loving images of families hugging goodbye before work and kissing goodnight before bed. A modern marvel of technology was being used to show its overseas viewers the humanity of their rivals.

The film made for a dynamic introduction to the American National Exhibition. It concluded with an image of forget-me-nots—a metaphor that was not lost on the audience, since the translated name for the flowers is the same in Russian as it is in English.