Route One/USA (part 1)
United States • 2h 5m
Directed by Robert Kramer • Documentary • 1990 • 125 minutes
Part 1 of 2 In 1988, nearly a decade after leaving the US for France, renegade filmmaker Robert Kramer returns. “Back,” he emphasizes. Not “home.” To try to understand the contemporary United States, he decides to travel the entire length of Route 1, from the Canadian border to Key West, filming all the way for five months. His companion on the trip is Doc—ostensibly Kramer’s friend, a brooding physician back after a harrowing decade working in Africa. But in fact, he’s a fictional character played by actor Paul McIsaac. This may seem like an odd choice, but McIsaac’s Doc is a compassionate man who readily engages with everyone from business owners, to factory workers, to army recruits. For a road movie, ROUTE ONE/USA features remarkably few shots of the open road itself. Instead, we are treated to a series of stops along the way—an Indian reserve in Maine, Walden Pond, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, a Georgia diner, Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter, and evangelical churches that preach the “truth” about the anti-apartheid movement and the dangers of Disney. There are plenty of characters along the way too, and appearances by televangelist Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson, as they campaign for president. It’s not just the people who make the film though. Kramer has an extraordinary eye for people, patterns, and industrial processes (you’ll never look at Monopoly or tinned sardines the same way again), and his visuals shine through in this beautifully restored edition. ROUTE ONE/USA was shot more than 30 years ago, but it feels remarkably contemporary in its portrayal of many of the racial, social, and economic challenges America continues to face. “It is an extraordinary, fluidly shaped mosaic of the fragmented pockets...
Up Next in United States
Route One/USA (part 2)
Directed by Robert Kramer • Documentary • 1990 • 129 minutes
Part 2 of 2
In 1988, nearly a decade after leaving the US for France, renegade filmmaker Robert Kramer returns. “Back,” he emphasizes. Not “home.” To try to understand the contemporary United States, he decides to travel the entire le...
Directed by Sean Patrick Crowell • Documentary • With David Suzuki, Clint Ober, Dr. Mercola • 2013 • 65 minutes
"Grounded", the high-flying story of Pittsburgh brothers Jimmy and Terry Dougherty, who became marijuana smugglers in the 1970's. Jimmy worked the ground crew and Terry was the pilot w...
In the Game
Directed by Maria Finitzo • Documentary • With None listed on IMDB • 2015 • 78 minutes
IN THE GAME is a documentary film directed by Peabody award-winner Maria Finitzo (Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita, 5 Girls) that follows the ups and downs of a girls’ soccer team to reveal the very...