Over the past few years, Cirque Productions, a small Chapel Hill-based documentary company, has carved out a unique niche: the trek film. A year ago, they brought out Trek: A Journey on the Appalachian Trail, which documented Cirque founders Brian Burnham and Leon Godwin as they navigated the six-month hike from Georgia to Maine in 2001.
Now Cirque is back with Share the Road: Tales from a Band of Gypsy Bikers, an hour-long film that recounts the 6,200-mile bike trip that Burnham, Godwin and friends undertook in 2003, beginning in Bar Harbor, Maine and finishing in San Diego several months later.
Share the Road doesn't stint on awe-inspiring shots of such places as the Glacier National Park in Montana, the sunflower-strewn fields and fearsome storms of North Dakota, and the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. It's a beautiful film, even if one sometimes wishes its twentysomething cast would dig a little deeper for reflections than "This is total freedom, man. It's awesome."
Their days are mostly untroubled--60 miles uphill into a headwind is about as hard as it gets--until they hit California. There, the realities of coastal development and unforgiving RV drivers conspire to make the last leg of the trip a little less serene than they'd anticipated.
Share the Road will screen publicly several times in the coming weeks: Cary's REI on June 3 and Durham's REI on June 4. The most promising screening is Friday, May 27 at Carrboro's Weaver Street Market, where the film will be shown outdoors at 7 p.m. Music by Big Pretty & The Red Rockets will open and close the show.