A documentary about the people who ride their motorcycles around America. Filmed during the 1996 annual biker run held at Sturgis, South Dakota, it takes a close look at some of the ... See full summary »
A documentary about the people who ride their motorcycles around America. Filmed during the 1996 annual biker run held at Sturgis, South Dakota, it takes a close look at some of the different types of people who ride motorbikes, showing that they're not what popular stereotypes have portrayed them to be. Among the people followed are Alex and Martin, a middle-aged couple planning to attend the festival together, Ilene, who comes from a long line of bikers, and the rough-looking "Liddo" Jim, head of a group called the Ressurection Motorcycle Club. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
It's a light weight documentary, but if you are interested in the Harley "scene" it manages to give a decent picture of the extremes, and even some of the middle, of the continuum of Harley riders.
I knew 'Liddo' Jim when this documentary was being made. He was working on the endless problems with my chopper, and I was always at the shop. I would go over after work with a 12 pack, and hang out while he worked.
I was fascinated by his nearly complete lack of pretense. He is direct, has a very strong code of ethics, and is not interested in changing himself for anyone. This was compelling to me, and I forgot for a while that the "outlaw" bikers code of ethics sees women as property, is racist, homophobic, and anti-social to the extreme. That isn't the life for me.
Liddo is a wonderfully "pure" example of an outlaw biker. The other prominent "biker" is Martin, who is a wonderfully pure example of the posers who want to look like dangerous bikers without any of the danger. These people are playing games, and I often amuse myself imagining a 'Martin' swaggering into a real biker bar, thinking that the "brotherhood of the open road" crap is real. If he is lucky enough to get out alive, he will receive a frightening education about what these guys do to fakes like him.
Then there are the other characters dropped in here and there, that populate the middle ground of Harley loving bikers who are just having fun with their bikes and their parties. The 'Hamsters' have made a very funny joke out the scene by wearing yellow, and naming themselves after a small timid creature that runs at the first sign of danger. I hate their bikes, but I love the lack of attitude.
So, watch it for the best glimpse I've ever seen into the surreal and frightening world of the outlaw biker, and some fun footage of motorcycles.
(At the films world premier in Seattle, they made the mistake of asking Liddo to bring his huge yellow chopper. He got drunk, drove the bike into the building, and did burnouts in the center of the theater with the audience running for their lives. He got quite a laugh telling me that story...)
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