Winner 18 Major Awards Including
Irresistible... astonishing... splendid... documentary filmmaking at its most engaging
Moving ...beautiful ...poignant
In its extraordinarily tender account of the lives of teenage freight-train riders, Riding the Rails offers a visionary perspective on the presumed romanticism of the road and cautionary legacy of the Great Depression. From "middle class gentility to scrabble-ass poor," the undiscriminating Great Depression forced 4,000,000 Americans away from their homes and onto the tracks in search of food and lodging. Of this number, a disturbing 250,000 of the transients were children.
Through painstaking research and with tremendous sensitivity, the filmmakers relay the experiences and painful recollections of these now-elderly survivors of the rails. After sifting through three thousand letters in response to their call for memoirs from the former teenagers, Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell have compiled a deserving tribute to the memories and experiences of their unforgettable subjects.
Sixty years later, the filmmakers transport their subjects back to the tracks, where the surging impact of sound and movement resuscitates memories of a shattered adolescence and devastating rite of passage. What evolves is a heartbreaking portrait of transformation and loss in a land of bankrupt promises and vacant opportunities.
-- Rebecca Yeldham, Sundance Film Festival
RIDING THE RAILS CAPTURES NOTHING LESS THAN THE STORY OF AMERICA - A TALE OF FREEDOM, OPPORTUNITY, AND ADVENTURE, AND OF MISERY, POVERTY AND LONELINESS.
-- Frederick Kaufman, Aperture
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