Recently graduated from the film department at the Sint-Lukas Hogeschool in Brussels, the documentary filmmaker Sofie Benoot is currently working on a trilogy of films called American Water. Fronterismo and Blue Meridian are the first two parts in this series about relatively unknown places in the United States of America. However the spots that she is portraying are very important to the foundation of the country, its mythology and its daily functioning, the actual stories of these places often remain untold. In her films, Benoot is showing people surviving in decayed and semi abandoned places. They try to rebuild, preserve and continue their lives, attempting to take a stand in their land and its history. The betrayal of its founding promises – the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – can be seen as the great American tragedy, but also functions as the motor of its history and stories. More than any other part of America, the Deep South – with its history of slavery, civil war, civil rights movement and its many natural disasters – symbolizes this struggle. Benoot’s film works can be considered as creative documentary road movies across and about the USA. The filmmaker herself prefers to describe them as ’documentary road rivers’. Benoot: “Although I do not appear myself as a character in my movies, my position is very important. As a European, I stand in the landscape of others. This confrontation provokes a very interesting tension: there is connection and disconnection at the same time. The way I present this part of America is both familiar to the viewer as it is strange. The America I show is scaled down and personalized. I’m not a historian, nor a scientist or a journalist, but a filmmaker. Two major desires guide my work: that of cinema and the desire to set foot in the outside world and step into the unknown. I approach my subjects in a way that is both distant and accessible, between far and near, reserved and at the same time engaged. The goal is to present a critical but emphatic view on America.”