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What Keeps Them Going
The road, to most of us, is simply a highway leading to a destination. But to many truck drivers, the road itself is their destination, their goal, and their home. To them the road can be a cold-hearted mistress that dominates their lives. This trenchant documentary follows three such truck drivers on that road as they passionately explain what drew them to truck driving and what is so compelling about their jobs.
Keenly observed and engagingly edited, the film provides riveting portraits of the three drivers as they speak openly and thoughtfully within the intimacy of their cabs and relate the thoughts, hopes, dreams, and aspirations that keep them going and help them integrate this demanding job into their lives. There is both humor and sorrow in their stories, and the film exposes surprising dimension and depth to the seemingly tough and straightforward men.
Filmed in The Netherlands and in Canada, What Keeps Them Going is a unique exploration of one of the largest occupational groups among men in most Western countries. It is both insightful and poignant and it will richly reward viewing and inspire discussion in a wide range of courses in cultural anthropology and sociology, especially those that deal with contemporary occupational issues, men and masculinity, and European anthropology. The film is in Dutch and English with English subtitles. It was produced by Fedor Ikelaar.
"Beautifully captures the moods and motivations of long-distance truck drivers as they criss-cross the flat Dutch landscape and as they enrich it with sharply perceptive observations, sardonic and sentimental by turns. As they simultaneously scan the endless roads ahead and the lives now receding behind them, they turn their cramped cabs into hospitable windows on a surprisingly engaging world." -- Michael Herzfeld, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University
- Athens (Greece) Ethnographic Film Festival honoree
- Swedish Anthropological Society Film Festival honoree
- Antropofest (Prague, Czech Republic) honoree
- Beeld voor Beeld Festival (Amsterdam) honoree
- Intimate Lens: Festival of Visual Ethnography (Caserta, Italy) honoree
- Contro-Sguardi (Perugia, Italy) honoree