AMERICAN RUINS is a feature-length, filmic journey through the relics and ruins of abandoned America: forgotten factories, derelict railroads, overgrown amusement parks, ghost towns, missile silos and mental hospitals -- an America history cinematically excavated from its debris. AMERICAN RUINS paints a uniquely visual portrait of the places that American "progress" has left behind.
The film is ultimately a scrapbook of short cinematic portraits. Some of the vignettes are documentary, some are experimental and impressionistic, some are musical, and others are mysterious and pensive. All of the portraits add up to a journey that is often exciting, but ultimately sobering: America's ruins are not those of an empire past, but the discarded debris of an empire present. This film listens to the stories ruins tell, the histories they imply, and the future they might suggest.