America Unchained Dave Gorman | Matt Hayward's blog Melbourne Australia

America Unchained Dave Gorman

With a title like this, it’s worth pointing out that Dave Gorman is a British comedian, not a Conservative polly. Or even worse, Max Mosley. It also happens to be a great road trip documentary. As if a cross-country road trip in a foreign country wasn’t enough of trial by fire, he vows not to give a cent to ‘the man’. The man being any chain petrol station, restaurant, motel or store. Any corporation basically. So if that doesn’t appeal to your dolphin loving, left wing side, what does?

Unchained America. No its not a sado-masochistic romp but its pretty good

Unchained America. No it's not a sado-masochistic romp but it's pretty good

In many ways, it should be twee and hateful. After all Gorman is a self confessed vegetarian, which would be a crime worse than incest in Hayward’s Australia – punishable by stuffing Wagyu beef patties down the offender’s throat till their liver turned to fois gras. Perhaps it’s twee because despite good intentions about not giving a cracker to the man, he buys a Ford station wagon. Let’s face it, the man don’t get no bigger than Henry Ford. But hey it was a classic car and I’m splitting hairs here. How many vegetarians have ever built a car out of bamboo and tofu without the man? It’s a very round number.

To be honest, this movie is an absolute cracker. Despite ‘the plan’ to go straight across the states, he takes detours at the drop of a hat, visiting any town called Independence in between breakdowns. Those being either the car or his director/camera person companion who has to jack in in half way through the journey with a bad back. It captures all the bittersweet joy and melancholy misery of a road trip, reaching a climax when his companion can no longer continue on. After a few nights in the fast food ruts, he finds the will to continue and keeps truckin’

Gorman finds an America that is dotted with salt of the earth, hospitable types that see him through. People that despite their Taco Bell, Hootersness and Wal-Mart scattered landscape often showed him more humanity than his British brethren.  There are cringy moments in 1950s diners and dummy spits by the side of the road, basically all the stuff that makes a journey so memorable. Vegetarianism aside, it leaves me hungry for the open road.  All with a great dry wit that you’d seldom find in the states. America Unchained is a must see.

Oh yeah and for all you book readin’ lefties, it comes in book form as well!

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