First Friday Films Presents:
“RIDING THE RAILS – The Hobo Children of the Great Depression”
Film by Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell
“Riding the Rails” offers a visionary perspective on the presumed romanticism of the road and cautionary legacy of the Great Depression. From ‘middle class gentility to scrabble-ass poor,’ the undiscriminating Great Depression forced 4,000,000 Americans away from their homes and onto the tracks to wander in search of food and lodging. Of this number, a remarkable 250,000 of the transients were teens or children. The film relays the experiences and painful recollections of these now-elderly survivors of the rails. Forced to travel by economic necessity and sometimes the spirit of adventure, they recount the romantic myths of a hobo existence and its corresponding veneer of freedom. “Riding the Rails” recounts the hoboes’ trade secrets and dark accounts. Original footage and period music by Woodie Guthrie and others. It is instructive to realize that this was an American experience of impoverishment and displacement.