The world of lawn mower racing is made up of people who will travel across the country at their own expense to compete for nothing more than a plastic trophy and bragging rights as there are no cash prizes in the sport. When revenue is generated at the gate it is often donated to a worthy cause. The United States Lawn Mower Racing Association's race in Sparta, MI is a classic example of this. The Mikula family, who have lost six members to Huntington's disease host an annual race in their hometown to raise research money and awareness of this little known disease. On Your Mark, Get Set, MOW! will explore the world of lawn mower racing and how it is being used to as a race for a cure. Through on camera interviews with medical professionals, US congressmen, and Arlo Guthrie, who lost his father Woody Guthrie to the disease, an understanding of the disease will be established. The Mikula family of Michigan, who have lost six members to Huntington's disease are host to a US Lawn Mower ...Written by
I have just returned from a local screening of Mike Ratel's debut film "On Your Mark, Get Set, Mow!" and wanted to say how much I enjoyed the film. Here are a few things that stood out in my mind - first, I think the film is a wonderful piece of Americana. Just the notion of everyday folks looking at their rider mowers and figuring out ways to customize and race them - isn't that just the spirit of individual creativity that makes this country such a wonderful place? Secondly, this may seem to be a movie about lawnmower racing, but it's really a movie about a richer topic - a bunch people coming together around a shared interest and forming a community, a sort of extended family with all of the ups and downs that can bring. Finally, what adds poignancy is that the movie also delves into the devastation that Huntington's Disease brings to individuals and families. If I do have one critique it would be that the information about Huntington's disease and the racing footage are not as well integrated as perhaps it could be - each would be a compelling story on their own - but in the end this is a minor quibble and does not detract from the quality of the film itself. In summary, I feel confident in recommending this film to all viewers (and not just to gear heads interested in racing) - there's humor, pathos, and exultation that's good for the body and the soul. Don't worry about this being an "indie" film - as entertainment it is on par with (and frankly more enjoyable than) many of the productions emerging from the entertainment industry these days. Go see it, and afterwords I promise you'll never look at your lawnmower the same way again!
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