Jacob Holdt: My Life in Pictures

Niels-Ole Rasmussen, Denmark, 2016

90 min.DK/DocumentaryPortrait films

“Jacob Holdt: My Life in Pictures” is the story about the son of a village priest, destined to be a priest himself. But Jacob rebels against his father and the expelled son becomes an outcast in Gods own country, USA. In the 70’s the Danish vagabond tours America with only one rule of thumb: never say no – to anything or anyone, a radical philosophy with radical consequences. Where everyone else walks out, Jacob walks in. He befriends sinners and outcasts: the needy dirty old men, the murderers, the Ku Klux Klan, the prostitutes, the pimps, the drug addicts and even the rich. His wanderings on the dark side of American Society leads him to the black communities – from the ghettoes in the North to the cotton fields in the South.
With this odyssey he gains wisdom and comes to understand how the American racism forces black youth into criminal gangs and transforms neighborhoods into ghettoes – where the laws of repression can eat souls from within.
Jacob’s pictures and all his hard learned lessons of life in downtown USA, becomes the book and the roadshow “American Pictures” that still to travels the world. Today the vagabond is an acclaimed photo artist exhibiting his pictures from the vagabond years in museums of modern art all over the world. And, even more importantly, he uses his acquired wisdom to fight racism in Denmark. Now, at the age of 67, Jacob feels an urge to understand his life and write the final book about it. During his research he revisits defining people from the long journey of life.
Why did Jacob learn to say yes, where we say no?
Basic information Credits Materials
Original title Jacob Holdt: Mit liv i billeder
Danish title Jacob Holdt: Mit liv i billeder
Keywords Holdt, Jakob, American Pictures, USA, Personal history
Director Niels-Ole Rasmussen
Producer Dorte Servé
Director of Photography John Bomand
Editor Mikkel Sangstad
Composer Simon Ravn, John Bomand
Production country Denmark
Domestic distribution DOXBIO
Danish theatrical release 05.10.2016
Cinemas Slagelse, Albertslund Biograferne, Vordingborg Bio, Biffen (Aalborg), Gloria, Øst for Paradis (Århus), Nicolai Biograf (Kolding), Valby Kino
Online release 31.05.2017
Danish rating Allowed for children over the age of 11
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Production company
Executive Producer Copenhagen Film & TV ApS
With support from Det Danske Filminstitut
Domestic distribution DOXBIO


Direction Niels-Ole Rasmussen


Producer Dorte Servé


Cinematographer John Bomand
First assistant camera Anders Helmer


Editor Mikkel Sangstad


Composer Simon Ravn
Composer John Bomand


Sound Michael Thorup

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Reviews and articles

On the library you can find these articles and revies and other material about the film.
Type Source Author Date
Anmeldelse Weekendavisen Green Jensen, Bo 2016-10-07
Artikel Weekendavisen Bjørnvig, Bo 2016-10-07
Anmeldelse Berlingske Tidende Blüdnikow, Bent 2016-10-05
Anmeldelse Berlingske Tidende Wendt Jensen, Jacob 2016-10-05
Anmeldelse Morgenavisen Jyllandsposten Frank Rasmussen, Nanna 2016-10-05
Anmeldelse Politiken-Fonden Skotte Christensen, Kim 2016-10-04
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