Charles Burnett's beautiful, poetic masterpiece is novelistic in its narrative density and richness of characterization. Harry Mention, an enigmatic drifter from the South, comes to visit ... See full summary »
Very sad that there's no other reviews / board action on this film as I suspect it means this excellent film just never gets seen. John T Davis travels with modern day hobo trainrider Beargrease as he hops highlines to the Rockies and back home. The camera work is amazing as we see the American countryside dusk to dawn from the trains Beargrease rides. The man is a Vietnam vet who,although having a pig farm cannot feel comfortable unless he heads off riding trains.Travelling with Beargrease we meet his friends and hear bits of his philosophy. There's a hobo code - you don't ask a man about his background, you don't ask if he's on the run but you do watch each others backs.
As the film unfolds I was struck by two things. Firstly John T Davis is illuminating a subculture that really is out of the mainstream. Did you know that Hobo trainriders still existed, helped each other, left cryptic signs, had an unwritten code? Nope me neither. Secondly the film has a grinding authenticity- riding the rockies at dawn you can feel the cold. Talking around the evening fireside sorrow and desperation compete with fierce independence. See it if you can but with no DVD or general release thats very difficult.
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