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REVIEWS – American Altars

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(Dana Fadel)

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POSTED 6/10/2021 – American Altars is an engaging first hand look into the memories, magnets, posters, and photos that we put on our refrigerators. Told in varying voices, camera angles, and storytelling techniques, this film’s message about how images connect to memories flows clearly through each scene. A touching view at the ‘reminding boards’ residing in many kitchens around the world, American Altars is an eclectically beautiful snip of fresh air and a reminder of a human connection that the whole family must see.

-Christina W. Richardson, PortFringe 2021 Independent Review Team

POSTED 6/10/2021 – AMERICAN ALTARS is a collage of the objects that we hold on to. A simple survey of the things people stick to their fridge, Dana Fadel’s film offers us a peek into the inner lives of its subjects.

The objects themselves range from photos of family members, works of art, pins, stickers, and magnets, all of which hold memories of love, loss, humor, and growth. More powerful than the objects are the voices of the (often unseen) fridge-owners. They provide context and meaning through a touching anecdote, snarky joke, or a self-aware reflection.

Stepping back from the individual fridges, we see a collection of sentimental people. AMERICAN ALTARS is a tender portrait of palpable ephemera that we chose to live with.

-Mike, PortFringe 2021 Independent Review Team

POSTED 6/12/2021 – What’s on your refrigerator? Any of us could take a visitor on a little tour. The bric-a-brac that hangs there could be funny, mundane, profound, or all those things. Most likely, it would tell the visitor something about you. This is the simple premise of American Altars. The people Dana Fader visited all seem like ordinary folks, which made me wonder had [she] visited celebrities, iconoclasts, or people from the far corners, would the refrigerators be all that different, or is there a common thread to be found on the ice box altars of American life?

-Mark Shaughnessy, PortFringe 2021 Independent Review Team

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