March 15, 2019 • Santa Cruz
The Bikes of Wrath documents the attempt made by five Australian friends to cycle 1,547 miles from Oklahoma to California in honor of the mighty westward migration undertaken by the Joad family of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Through chance encounters with everyday Americans, the cyclists explore the novel’s core themes of migration, inequality, and the perceived land of opportunity. The film also shows how the US has progressed some 78 years after Steinbeck’s Dust Bowl depiction was first published.
It is through countless acts of generosity from small-town individuals and communities, to desolating encounters with unwanted Americans, that the cyclists experience first-hand the startling parallels of the novel in a country still grappling with immigration, wealth disparity and, ultimately, its own sense of identity.
The Bikes of Wrath couldn’t be more timely. It’s a funny, heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful documentary that opens our eyes to the complexities of America, all while shining a positive light on the nation at a time when the world needs it most.
Come see the Santa Cruz showing of The Bikes of Wrath at the Rio Theatre on March 15, 2019.