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This is Nowhere 2002

Recommended with reservations

Distributed by High Plains Films, PO Box 8796, Missoula, Montana 59807; 406-543-6726
Produced by Ecology Center
Directed by Doug Hawes-Davis
VHS, color, 88 min.

American Studies, Popular Culture, Sociology, Travel and Tourism

Date Entered: 11/09/2018

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

A subculture of affluent travelers, who move along the highways of North America in large recreational vehicles, often spending the night in Wal-Mart parking lots, is the subject of this documentary-style video. Over 7 million RVs are owned in the United States, many of them serving as permanent residences for an estimated 1-2 million full-time travelers. Through interviews conducted at a Missoula, MT, Wal-Mart store, several RV enthusiasts try to explain the lure of this nomadic lifestyle.

Traveling in convenience and comfort, the people in this film describe the how’s, what’s and where’s of RV life. With seemingly little interest in the surroundings other than finding the safety and security of the familiar, the viewer is left with a sense of irony but no real understanding of why those interviewed chose to propel motorized behemoths across the landscape only to stop and shop at a national chain discount store.

Filmed in 2002, the technical quality of the video is fairly good, although camera and editing techniques seem clumsy at times. Slow and quick motion shots add little except time to the final product. Likewise, interweaving film clips taken from old movies and news footage into the interviews miss the mark. Crisper editing and more substantial content are needed. Somewhat interesting as a snapshot of a certain segment of the American population, the video may appeal to general public library audiences.