Matthieu Silberstein is a filmmaker, an author, a French immigrant and a father. matthieusilberstein.com

The story of a fictional small town in the middle of Arizona called Radiator Springs might hold the key to fixing the dangerous divisiveness that is plaguing American life.

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Eight months after my son was born, Trump took the reins of the United States announcing the end of the “American carnage.” Like many, I tried to grasp in the following months and years how a country that had elected Obama twice, could move so far to the opposite edge of the political spectrum only to eventually fall off the cliff, face first into the cacti. For those of you who haven’t watched Cars since its theatrical release in 2006, here’s a quick refresher on the plot: on his way to Los Angeles, race-car sensation Lightning McQueen gets lost and lands in a desolate town in the middle of Utah — Radiator Springs. …


Separated since March by COVID travel bans, international couples are now starting to break up, cancelling their entire future, in large part due to the incompetence, indifference and / or laziness of the people in power.

They say ‘Love knows no borders’. Yet 2020 reminded us that, unfortunately, it still very much does.

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The picture above is the first one ever taken of me and my wife. She’s an American from Denver. I’m a Frenchman from Paris. This photo was taken in April 2007, at a bar in Manhattan a few days before I flew back to France. She and I first met in July 2005 in front of an NYU dorm, a few days before I flew back to France. We only really got together in February 2009, you guessed it, only a few days before I flew back to France. …


Hopefully you won’t remember any of this. But we’ll make sure we do.

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Sweetheart,

You were born in 2020. Odd choice some might say. Of course, it’s not like you had much of a say in the matter. You came in early February. At that point in the year, the world was not doing so great, but just the usual stuff. You see, a little while ago, more or less around the time your mom and dad met, the world started to get pretty depressed. I could tell you more about why if I had more time, but to sum up: increasing inequalities and social media. And for a long time this depression lingered, ignored, seeping deeper and deeper into the membrane of society, spreading like a virus to the most remote corners of the Western world. Then in 2016, the year your brother was born actually, the most powerful country in the world took the typical following step: it became angry. It was not a uniting anger, the kind sometimes used to propel civilization forward like in the Italian Renaissance or at the dawn of both your countries’ revolutions. No, this time, the world was angry at itself. That’s the worst kind, the kind where anger is no longer a reaction, but a state. When that point is reached, causes don’t matter anymore. All that matters is that someone loud enough shows up and points toward someone you can be angry at. …


If you’re unconvinced, here are some facts to hammer it home.

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The next presidential election will take place in a post-COVID19 world. If healthcare was already going to be centerstage, one can only imagine how big a role it will play now that everyone in the country has had an intimate conversation with their own mortality. So here are some answers to arguments against Medicare For All we’ll certainly hear in the next few months.

If the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us one thing it’s that there’s a reason it’s called public health: if you want to be able to do something as bold and fundamentally American as say, leave your house, the health of your neighbors matters a great deal. …


My wife is an American from Colorado. I’m a Frenchman from Paris. Our son was born in Manhattan in 2016. That day, he was granted both countries’ passports. Easy enough. But the hard part was yet to come: he now had to learn both our languages. And if he had to learn, it meant we had to teach him.

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When people talk about globalization, they’ll talk about trade and tariffs until our ears start to bleed, but they never talk about another, newly common kind of import/export: Love. Over the past decades, cheap airfares, video chat and study abroad programs have resulted in an increase in international couples. And if said couples can survive the cultural shockwaves they’ve invited into their home, the common result is multi-national children, introducing a whole new set of questions and conversations around education. …


Six feet used to be the perfect distance to justify avoiding or ignoring a fellow human. Now we’re all shouting across streets, singing from our balconies, longing for a trip to the grocery store in a desperate search for a connection. What if Coronavirus was the tragedy our society needed?

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Let’s make one thing clear: the Coronavirus is first and foremost an absolute tragedy. It’s ending people’s lives, it’s breaking people’s hearts, it’s turning our hospitals into war zones and our medical professionals into entrenched soldiers, it’s destroying bank accounts and hopes of a better future for a lot of people. …

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