"There's No Place Like You" is an ongoing collection of films that explore the intimate and often hidden complexities of a first-generation American family. Beginning in 1994 and continuing to the present day (16 years thus far), the series documents the harmony and discord that typifies family dynamics, always keeping a sharp eye on the inherent humor. The films are created in installments that are structured like a book of short stories. Each film is but one story in an ongoing collection of stories; they are slices of life that can stand on their own or be viewed in relation to one another. In an attempt to take on the impossible issues of religion, faith, identity, drugs, sex, parenthood, love, life, death and politics, the stories present a philosophically serious but often hysterical look through the eyes of a family struggling to find (or simply hang onto) something to believe in.
THIS FILM IS THE FIRST FILM IN THE SERIES:
"BELIEVE", 1996, 49 Minutes.
NEW YORK CITY, 1965: “Big Time Sam” is a Jewish immigrant who makes a killing selling diamonds. He soon realizes that he can make even more money selling cocaine. He spends the rest of his life dealing and abusing drugs between prison sentences. He has a son and a daughter but Sam’s wife, also a Jewish immigrant, takes the two children and gets the hell out of Dodge. She divorces, remarries, finds Jesus, moves to Texas, and has another son--not necessarily in that order.
FAST FORWARD 30 years >>
TEXAS, 1995: Sam’s ex-wife is divorced again and desperately trying to reclaim her Jewish roots. Sam attempts a new start but old habits die hard. Sam’s daughter gets hitched but is now M.I.A. Sam’s son runs away but not far enough. Sam’s addict girlfriend gives birth but she’s not sure if Sam is the father—either way the child is born “under the influence” and the state takes the baby away. And there’s also another question of paternity about to rear its head. Sound confusing? Well leave it to a precocious 13 year old to put it all into perspective using profoundly incisive wit to expose the tragic-comic absurdities in all that is happening around him.
Filmed in Israel, New York, Rhode Island and Texas, this fast-paced documentary is a glimpse into the life of one “normal” first-generation American family—the end result is a philosophically serious but often hysterical look through the eyes of a family struggling to find something to believe in. And this is only story one in a now sixteen year documentary saga.
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