Bound for Glory (1976)

Folk singing legend Woody Guthrie's autobiography was adapted to make this film. We follow the Oklahoma native from his dustbowl home in Texas as he rides the rails with hobos in an effort to make it to California where legends say there's tons of work for fruit pickers. A positive thinking sign painter becomes a folk singer-songwriter and a social activist.

As I watched the destitute poverty that was portrayed in the film set in the 1930s, I couldn't help but sense that it is a foreshadowing of what will end up recurring in Canada and the USA, starting very soon. The climate changes and the widening gap between rich and poor are perfect catalysts for such conditions. And mean conditions they were with people shooting hobos and land owners beating union leaders and the government not doing anything to regulate the unemployment.

The acting in the film was quite compelling. David Carridine is very convincing as a young man being affected by his desperate surroundings. It is reminiscent of The Motorcycle Diaries and inspiring to know that those who allow themselves to be convinced that change can happen, actually begin to make change happen. The cynics are the ones who allow the status quo to dictate the future and abandon efforts to ensure justice and peace in the world.

The story really doesn't end well. We've really only seen the beginning of the tale and if one doesn't know what exactly happened next, you really feel disappointed - especially after watching all 150 minutes you'd expect some resolution - and the film does feel long. But Guthrie was a restless soul and there probably wasn't much resolution in his life either.


No comments: