A Tower of Babel USA (Dutch From Amsterdam, New York)

Dutch from Amsterdam, NY is a family portrait that demonstrates how Americans are as diverse in their ideas and lifestyles as they are in their aspirations and interpretations of the “American Dream.” Part of an original four-part series A Tower of Babel-USA, screened on select PBS stations. Read more below.

Dutch from Amsterdam, NY is a family portrait that demonstrates how Americans are as diverse in their ideas and lifestyles as they are in their aspirations and interpretations of the “American Dream.” Part of an original four-part series A Tower of Babel-USA, screened on select PBS stations.

Dutch from Amsterdam, NY is a story of ethnic traditions, personal commitments, and the efforts of a new generation of immigrants. The family portrait depicts the Vender Veens, a Dutch family from Amsterdam, New York. Filmed over a period of a year in the Cinema Verité style, the events of everyday life authentically rendered in this video demonstrate the struggles of an average American family attempting to achieve the Dream.

“They used to call it Future Farmers of America,” Veen jokes. “Now its Fathers Farm Alone!”

A two-time winner of the New York State Farmer of the Year Award, and a close runner up in the national competition, the Veen family farm is a testimony to the endurance of this first generation immigrant couple. With over 250 animals and 1,200 acres, their family farm is an exception to the rule as across America, our agrarian legacy disappears. “The reason why America celebrates Thanksgiving is because they thank God they survived.” This family’s story of survival and success reveals how the “Dream” persists in the hearts and minds of immigrants living in contemporary America.

Part of a four-part series entitled A Tower of Babel-USA, the program Dutch from Amsterdam, NY was originally screened on selected PBS stations. The four segments explored the lives of Americans, including first generation immigrants, and how the Dream has influenced their lives. The subjects of the film include Russians living in Moscow, PA, Germans in Berlin, NY and Italians living in Rome, NY.

Duration: 28 minutes

Producer/Director:
Slawomir Grunberg

Music:
Doug Frankenberger

• Broadcast nationwide on select PBS television stations

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