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Canada, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Documentaries)

Director: Ron Mann

Go Further Canada

'Dubbed 'The next Bowling For Columbine' at last year's Toronto Film Festival. A much needed dose of levity for the eco-movement, Ron Mann's (Twist, MIFF 1993; Grass MIFF 2000) road documentary has its priorities exactly right. It's funny and anarchic entertainment first, the bearer of alarming news second.

'The premise is simple. Woody Harrelson (a passionate eco-crusader) hooks up with several like-minded friends for a trip down Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to L.A. by bike and hemp-fuelled bus to spread the message of sustainability.

'The delight is in the details. The group includes a yoga teacher, a raw food chef and a hemp-activist, but also a junk-food addict who might as well have been lifted from the cast of Jackass. That guy is Steve Clark, a stoner production assistant on Will And Grace who struck up a friendship with Harrelson. Loud and ready to party hearty for any cause. The whole enterprise seems deliberately patterned after Ken Kesey's legendary Merry Pranksters hippie-trek of the 60s. Fittingly, the gang visits Kesey himself at his Oregon farm where he dubs them The Merry Hempsters.' -Toronto Sun

D/P Ron Mann S Soloman Vesta WS Chum TV International TD 35mm/Col/2003/80mins

Ron Mann was born in Toronto, Canada in 1958. Films include: Imagine the Sound (1981), Poetry in Motion (1982), Comic Book Confidential (1988).

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