Oklahoma to California: 2600 kms, 420 dollars, 30 days, 5 bikes, 3 cameras, 2 guitars and one of the most influential novels of the 20th century — The Bikes of Wrath is the story of adventure, human connection, and an in-depth look at today’s America through the lens of John Steinbeck’s seminal novel, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.
Five Australian friends attempt to cycle from Oklahoma to California in honor of the mighty westward migration undertaken by ‘The Grapes of Wrath’s’ Joad family.
Seeking to gain a greater understanding of the Dust Bowl, explore the central themes of the novel and discuss their relevance in today’s America, The Bikes of Wrath set-off on their 30-day cycling adventure with no support vehicle, no training and, as one member puts it best, ‘no real idea’.
Loaded with trailers, musical instruments and camera equipment, the group set themselves the additional challenge of surviving on $420 (the modern-day equivalent of the Joads’ $18 in the 1930s) and whatever their musical performances can yield.
Through chance encounters with everyday Americans, the cyclists expand on the novel’s core: migration, inequality and the perceived land of opportunity. The group explores whether America has progressed since the book was written discussing the wealth gap, immigration and the American Dream.
Letting the group into their homes, lives, and demonstrating the startling parallels of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ seventy-eight years after its publication, these vastly different characters quickly become a central focus of the documentary, as well as integral to the success of the cyclists’ journey.
The Bikes of Wrath uncovers a deep insight into the human spirit and shines a positive light on America at a time when the world needs it most; all rolled into a unique, funny and life-affirming observational documentary filled with adventure, literature, music, and human connection.
CLASSIFICATION: Restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult
THE BIKES OF WRATH
2018 | 101 min |AUSTRALIA
Directed by Cameron Ford and Charlie Turnbull
Followed by a Q&A with director Cameron Ford