The award winning film documents the events of one tumultuous year, as Datuna: Portrait of America follows the compelling journey of artist David Datuna in his pursuit of cultural and artistic freedom in his adopted country, the United States. An émigré from the former USSR, the incredible trek traces his childhood dream to escape oppression and find his place in the world as an artist. The film follows his steps from: the former Soviet Republic of Georgia; daring shows challenging Putin's authority in the heart of Moscow's Red Square, to major exhibitions in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and tens of thousands at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in the shadow of the US capital; and ultimately back to his homeland in Tbilisi to support Georgia's pursuit of freedom while they inch closer to the European Union. As Datuna becomes the first contemporary artist in the world to utilize early wearable technology devices like Google Glass in a work of art, his personal life takes a dramatic turn when the artist discovers he has stage 3 lung cancer. This remarkable story chronicles one man's quest to achieve his dreams against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and to never give up.
"As a work of art, Portrait of America marks a dynamic contemporary moment in the intersection of culture and technology. Datuna, an émigré from Soviet Georgia, used wearable technology as a 21st-century tool to illustrate the nation’s continuing sense of “E Pluribus Unum.” The flag’s symbolism conveys the idea that, despite today’s cultural fragmentation and diversity, we are somehow still bound together, one from many."
–Amy Henderson, SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE