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The Bikes of Wrath (CTBA)
Dir. Cameron Ford, Charlie Turnbull
2019 | 101 mins | Australia
- Sat 18 Jan: 5.30pm
- Wed 22 Jan: 6pm
- £8* – Standard
- £5* – Student / Under 25
- £21* – 3 film tickets for £21
The Bikes of Wrath tells the story of five Australian friends as they attempt to cycle 2600 kilometres from Sallisaw, Oklahoma, to Bakersfield, California in honour of the mighty westward migration undertaken by The Grapes of Wrath’s Joad family.
With an inordinate amount of self-belief, the cyclists set-off on their 30-day adventure with no training, no support vehicle, and as one member puts it best, ‘no real idea’. Burdened 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.
Riding 90 kilometres a day, the journey along America’s iconic Route 66 takes them from the farmlands of Oklahoma to the blistering Mojave desert and countless places in-between; the diversity of landscapes only matched by the assortment of characters met along the way. It is through these chance encounters with everyday Americans that the cyclists expand on the novel’s central themes: 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.
These vastly different small-town characters quickly become the central focus of the series, as well as integral to the groups’ success; letting the cyclists into their homes, lives, and demonstrating the startling parallels of The Grapes of Wrath seventy-eight years after its publication.
The Bikes of Wrath seven-part series 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 series filled with adventure, literature, music, and human connection.