This uplifting, brilliantly filmed and edited documentary focuses on people with the courage and strength of spirit to follow their own path, and the freedom in America that makes the expression of what are sometimes odd and inventive, and even bizarre pursuits a reality. It is about those rare souls willing to live life on their own terms, and live out the dream that is in their hearts.
The creation of Louis Schwartzberg, the concept is wonderful, and the cinematography stunning. With the exception of the steelworkers struggling to keep their town and plant alive, all these stories of human ingenuity are positive and sometimes quite humorous, like the fantastic decorated cars, and the man from Colorado with the ham bullet.
Among the many images and stories that linger in my mind are the extraordinary gravity-defying, cliff-hanging ballet, the glowing, beautiful Mosie Burks, as she sings her gospel music and spreads her joy, the wisdom of the Appalachian weaver who says "I've been broke, but I've never been poor", ex-con and Olympic boxer Michael Bennett, helping kids to re-make their lives as he has done, and Klezmer clarinetist David Krakower playing the marvelous music of his heritage.
This is a film one could see numerous times because it is packed with content, dazzling visuals, and an overall upbeat outlook; in fact, there is no way one could absorb all that is in this film in a single viewing, or even two or three viewings.
Filled with music that delights the spirit, like Mosie's gospel songs, New Orleans jazz from James Andrews, rock 'n' roll from the Pino brothers, Marc Savoy's Cajun tunes, David's soulful clarinet, some fabulous salsa dancers, and much more. The soundtrack is by Joel McNeely with a song by John Mellencamp. Bravo Mr. Schwartzberg, for this film that celebrates creativity, and the greatness of this magnificent land. Total running time is 88 minutes.