Saturday, August 21, 2010

Movie: A Map for Saturday

My wife was already standing in the checkout line at the public library and I still hadn't picked up any movies. I ran over to the Travel section, where the DVD cover of A Map for Saturday caught my eye. The blurb said something about a guy who takes off for a year around the world. I grabbed that and a couple of other travel movies. (It is almost tempting to believe that books and movie choose me, just as much as I seek them out.)

So the next morning, after my wife left (she's taken up a short-term contract assignment) and I was alone in the hotel, I popped the movie into the DVD player.

Even before the initial montage ended, I was completely hooked. And in five minutes, I was feeling really guilty. I knew my wife would really enjoy the movie too, so I stopped it. (I watched a movie about the Silk Road instead.)

That same evening, after dinner, we both watched A Map for Saturday. The title is based on the idea that 'on a trip around the world, every day feels like Saturday.'

Brook is a 25 year old who decides to give up his job in NYC and a successful future as a TV producer to hit the road. And he takes his camera along. He stays in hostels from Sydney to Bangkok to Europe to Rio. And he is really good at interviewing people, making them open up. The result makes for a compelling and at times mesmerizing documentary.

When I mention this movie about taking a year off to others, their first reaction is "Oh, I could never do anything like that." Which is precisely why they should watch this movie. To expand our horizons, and to learn how others think.

The movie reminds us of the dreams that we all squelched in order to fit in. It tells us that we owe it to ourselves to give at least one honest shot at pursuing our dreams.

The finished product is great and professionally edited. But since I have the time these days, I also watched all the deleted scenes. And the interviews and the DVD extras. Those are a little more raw, but people are less guarded and therefore extremely candid, which makes them very insightful for us viewers.

Brook captures the loneliness of the long-time traveler wonderfully well. If you love travel, have dreamed of taking time off, want to know what the joys and sorrows and longings of slow travel are, go and get this movie. (It should be mandatory viewing for all backpacker-wannabes.)

Get it from your local library, or through Netflix, but be sure to view it.

1 comment:

Bob said...

My library system doesn't have A Map for Saturday and neither does Amazon. Maybe you just gave me another reason to join Netflix.

I love travel movies about places I haven't been and experiences I am not likely to have.

Thanks for alerting me to this hidden gem.