Legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles pioneered feature documentary filmmaking and Direct Cinema, his work revealing a patient intimacy and unassuming quest for understanding. This technique is never more apparent than with In Transit, Maysles’ final project before his death. He and his collaborators capture a journey through the hearts and minds of passengers aboard The Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route.
“Immediately joining the ranks of cinema’s most bittersweet swansongs, this gentle but (literally) moving doc takes us along for a ride on the Empire Builder, Amtrak’s busiest long-distance route.” – David Ehrlich, Time Out
Aboard the train, we meet pensive runaways and eager adventurers, reunited family members, and perpetual loners, as the landscape shifts from urban centers to oil fields to seemingly infinite plains. Seamlessly interweaving overheard conversations, new friendships, and touching moments, this documentary becomes more than a web of intimate vignettes as it uncovers a new side of the American people. Connecting a myriad of travelers in a transitory state, In Transit breathes new life into the cross-country commute and asks us to contemplate the unknowns that lie at our final destination. (Dir. by Albert Maysles, Lynn True, David Usui, Nelson Walker III and Benjamin Wu, 2015, USA, 76 mins., Not Rated) Official Selection:Tribeca Film Festival, AFI Docs Festival