Jonathan Ellis

Witness American

26 minutes


The American road trip is an iconic expedition, arguably a rite of passage for every photographer.  Jonathan Ellis takes this cliché to an new level with his wittingly dark interpretation, a short film entitled Witness American.  Identifying as both American insider and outsider, Ellis transforms his cross-country experience into a non-linear narrative complete with rhythmic movements in editing and abstraction.  His careful attention to manipulated sound further moves the viewer into complicated feelings of comfort and uncertainty… the soothing tones of a voice coming through the radio as the images undulate over highways and byways. Witness American questions where we are at the moment as a country, but gives no answers beyond its philosophical and visual exploration.