PLAYLAND USA evokes memories of the global longing for escapism and illusion and portrays the continuing loss of grip on reality in the United States of America.
Benjamin Schindler's exceptional documentary PLAYLAND USA takes us on a journey through the United States as a country of unlimited narratives. It explores the great myths, stories and dreams that contribute to the creation of its identity, both past and present, influenced by the world's largest entertainment industry.
Embedded in allusions to Hollywood movies and other symbols of pop culture, the film bows from the conquest of the New World to the settlement of alien planets, linking past and future, traversing various genres, epochs, and fictitious locations. One by one, a doomsday preacher, a ghost hunter, Santa Claus, an indigenous storyteller, a toothless western lady, a UFO-believing cinema owner, talking dolls lead us through the film. They all seem less concerned with authenticity than upholding the belief in the impossible.
Fantasy and magic clash with references to contemporary issues such as racism, populism and gun violence, exposing the mechanisms of global narrative traditions. The boundaries between fact and fiction, dream and madness are becoming increasingly blurred, opening up a new level of reflection of a film in film.
German cinema release: 26 September 2019