My American Neighbor

“Face to face one cannot see the face.
Important things must be observed from the distance.”

Sergey Yesenin (Russian poet)

In 2003-2005, Irina traveled to France, Greece, Egypt, Italy and her native Russia to interview the U.S. citizens who live there. She invites her interviewees and her audience to reflect about patriotism, freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and the importance of distance for our understanding of homeland.
Distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences.

“The interviewees’ individual perspectives on patriotism provide a refreshing alternative to the mindless flag-waving or flag displaying that passes for love of country in the United States.” (San Francisco Alternative Daily, 2008-02-21)

“MY AMERICAN NEIGHBOR is a thoughtful, delicate and observant film that reflects on complex modern identity, globalization, and moral values.” (Alla Verlotsky, Seagull Films)

“Stylistically the film switches between fairly straightforward talking head style interviews with the featured Americans and Patkanian’s reflexive voice over narrative and whimsical cinematography. Conceptually this format works well in tying together diverse voices and perspectives to comment on specific issues, such as how individuals feel about their homeland as citizen living abroad. (Kim Stanton, University of North Texas Libraries )

8.30.2008 Peace on Earth Film Festival, Chicago, IL (best short documentary award)
8.12.2008 UFVA Conference, Colorado Springs, CO (finalist in best documentary category)
7.7.2008 Golden Apricot, International FF, Yerevan, Armenia
6.28.2008 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, PA
6.2008 BridgeFest, Vancouver, Canada; Belgrade, Serbia; Trebinje, Bosnia & Herzegovina
6.6.2008 Seattle True Independent Film Festival, WA
5.25.2008 Connecticut Film Festival, CT
4.26.2008 Indianapolis International Film Festival, IN
2.29.2008 Big Muddy Film Festival, Carbondale, IL
2.1.2008 San Francisco Independent Film Festival, CA
10.27.2007 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, AR
10.4.2007 S.U.R.G.E. Film Festival in Portland, OR
9.29.2007 Big Damn Film Festival in Chicago, IL
7.25.2007 Independent Television Festival in LA, CA