Courtesy of Icarus Films

Route One/USA


MoMI is partnering with Icarus Films to bring Route One/USA directly to Museum members and patrons to view from home. To support the Museum, please use the link below to watch the film.

View Route One/USA from home using this link (Tickets: $10 / $8 Museum members).
A portion of ticket sales benefits the Museum and its staff.

Dir. Robert Kramer. 1990, 255 mins.

“A thin stretch of asphalt cutting through all the old dreams of a nation.”—Robert Kramer

In 1988, renegade filmmaker Robert Kramer returned to the United States after years of living abroad. To reacquaint himself with the country, he decided to travel the entire length of Route 1, from the Canadian border to Key West, filming all the way. His companion on the trip is his ostensible friend Doc, a brooding physician back after a harrowing decade working in Africa. In fact, he’s a fictional character played by actor Paul McIsaac, who readily engages with those he meets—business owners, factory workers, army recruits—at locations as varied as an Indian reserve in Maine, Walden Pond, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., a Georgia diner, a homeless shelter Thanksgiving dinner, and evangelical churches that preach the “truth” about the anti-apartheid movement and the dangers of Disney. There are plenty of characters along the way, as well as appearances by televangelist Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson as they campaign for president. Though shot decades ago, Route One/USA feels remarkably contemporary in its portrayal of the racial, social, and economic challenges America continues to face. View trailer.

“Endlessly fascinating. An extraordinary, fluidly shaped mosaic of the fragmented pockets of American life that together compose the mainstream.” —Caryn James, The New York Times