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Big Rig (2007)

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A portrait of contemporary American life, as seen through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers.


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A portrait of contemporary American life, as seen through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers.

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3 June 2008 (USA)  »

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Awesome documentary
4 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a story about the people that keep this country moving by driving 18-Wheelers. The documentary started out interviewing a truck driver at a truck stop who said that if for a single week, trucks stopped running, that it would turn the country upside down. As soon as the guy behind this man heard him, he turned around and said that it would only take three days to cause panic at grocery stores around the country, because almost everything that we buy arrives at the stores from 18-Wheelers.

Doug Pray is the director of this film. In order to produce Big Rig, he rode across 45 state lines in multiple tractor trailers. He also has made Hype! a documentary film about the emergence of the rock scene in Seattle. Another movie, Scratch is about the hip hop world and specifically the DJs that spin in the clubs. He also has two other movies about graffiti artists and surfers. On Pray's website he says that he likes to uncover the story of people that he sees as underdogs or those that people in society misunderstand. Pray also believes the people he films have many things in common. For example, he says that both surfers and DJs understand how to flow with things, even though their careers are totally different.

The idea behind Big Rig is to expose the truck drivers that run our country. These people are often taken for granted because society forgets how important they are. There was one person in particularly that caught my attention, he was a man who only had one arm but was still able to drive a truck. He was a very inspiring person because he was almost killed in an accident involving heavy machinery. After that he decided that he wanted to become a truck driver so that he could see the country and more important that than that, he loves his job, which is something that not everyone experiences. There was another story about a man who was in an accident in his truck. He was going down a hill and he lost his brakes, so he had to veer off the side of the road. When he arrived at the hospital and the police officer asked him if he was wearing his seat belt the man responded, Yes. However, the officer responded that that was impossible because the steering column had came into the cab during the accident and if he was wearing it then he would be decapitated. When the nurse examined him, sure enough he was in fact wearing his seat belt. It's the little miracles like this that made him strive to achieve at what he does and he didn't let his accident scare him out of driving a truck or doing what he loves.

The majority of this film was edited in interview format. I think this is because he is trying to get people to tell about their lives on the road and that really would have been able to be conveyed unless he got them to talk about their life. Another major part of this film was the music that was included. The band used was Buck 65. All the music that was played in the film was specifically composed for the purpose of being in this documentary. Buck 65's music is based around country music, which is important because truckers are seen as the last of the cowboys.

Overall, I would suggest watching this documentary because I believe that it will give people a new found respect for those who drive 18-Wheelers because their lives are harder than we could ever imagine.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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