Bob Smith, U.S.A. is a hilarious new documentary film by Neil Abramson (Without Air, Soldier Child, Defining Maggie) that provides a view into American culture through the eyes of seven men named Bob Smith.
The filmmakers traveled across the United States documenting the lives of all the Bob Smith’s. Despite their common names, the men vary greatly in profession, age and religion - from septic tank repairman to yoga instructor; from twenty eight to eighty-eight years old; from Evangelical Christian to Evangelical Atheist. As each man’s story unfolds in their own words, intimate portraits are drawn; creating a poetic, non-judgmental and highly entertaining document of American life.
As an immigrant to the United States (I was born in S. Africa), I have always struggled to define America and to understand the "quintessential American." I have traveled extensively around the U.S. shooting television commercials -- and was interested in finding a vehicle, a common thread to link all the disparate voices and ideas that I have experienced on my journeys. Finally, after seeing the name "Bob Smith" on several different locations across the country (store front;windows, bill boards, car licence plates,etc.), it dawned on me that the name "Bob Smith" could be used to artistically portray life across the United States. In many ways the film defined itself. I listened to the central themes and ideas of each Bob and followed the natural juxtapositions. The lives of the different Bob Smith’s became a mirror for the country as a whole. To me the film is a part entertainment, part anthropological study. A slice of the American pie.