|Index||3 reviews in total|
Excellent documentary on the world's toughest bike race. Follows some
of the individuals on their pursuit of completing RAAM (Race Across
America) a solo bicycle race across the USA in 12 days (or less)
The film gives you some perspective on what motivates these men and women to attempt something this grueling and how their perspective of what is important to them changes as the race goes on.
This is not a promotional video for RAAM, as after seeing it most aren't running out of the theaters to sign up for it, yet it gives you a new perspective and respect for those that have attempted and accomplished this amazing event.
Now I don't really want to take much away from this film. It is quite
singular and one should definitely see it if the subject matter is
interesting to your life. However, it is horribly edited. There are way
too many parts in which music and ambiance is supposed to suffice. IT's
a bit haphazard in its structure, it really needed a lot more editing.
Bicycling is possibly the most efficient way for a man to make his way across terrain. With the right bike and equipment it is easy to traverse great distances at very little effort. The main problem lies in the weight of the bikes and we have begun to transcend such problems. The thing about the bike that has always fascinated me is that it really pushes someone to their limits with minimal commitment. IT is the most organic vehicle that we have, and I honestly believe that if this was the only mode of transportation it would be such an interesting world.
And this documentary also addresses the problem of the lack of challenge and tribulation in our society. Or what Dabrowski called Positive Disintegration, or what NIetzsche said, "what does not kill me, makes me stronger."
Subtitles were needed during certain accented excerpts from the riders. Honestly the message at heart is challenge and aestheticism. It is quite noble and I must say it at least garners a 7/10 But I am a huge fan of bicycling so I have given it an 8!
It's difficult not to be awed by the suffering, determination and commitment of the participants in the RAAM race - and this film clearly illustrates this. However, unlike the race, the film just doesn't go anywhere. Having set the scene, it repeatedly focuses on a number of competitors - exhibiting their struggles, but after a while this repetition feels wearing. The riders are rightly lauded for their achievements, but we don't actually learn much about them. We don't know their backgrounds, how they prepared for the race, what they ate/drank during the race, or indeed anything at all about the bikes themselves. It's extraordinary to see a "travel" film where the viewer is not even shown a map of the route. This omission stripped the film of its geographical context. We are entertained to the spiritual musings of the racers, but these appeared both incoherent and contradictory. The film is devoid of any interesting challenges to the "heroes" ( what are these people like to live with when they aren't racing / how do they combine their careers with training ). It's reverential style permitted neither humour nor an ounce of irony. A wasted opportunity to make an interesting and thought provoking movie.
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