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The American Experience: Riding the Rails (1997)

Director: Lexy Lovell, Lexy Lovell, Michael Uys, more...
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: WGBH Boston
Genre: Documentary, Biographies
Running Time: 72 min.
Languages: English
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Synopsis
This poignant and carefully researched documentary takes a stark look at the harsh realities behind the oft-romanticized view of the train-hopping Depression-era hobo. Of those habitual rail riders, 250,000 thousand were children and adolescents, many of whom were forced to hit the road not for fun and adventure, but out of brutal necessity. The filmmakers got their stories from the reminiscences of 10 former vagabonds (including a female, an African American, and one 72-year-old who continues hopping trains) and archival government and newsreel footage to create an accurate, at times wrenching, view of the wanderers's struggle to survive. The soundtrack includes period folk music from such artists as Woody Guthrie. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide



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