VIFF 2016: Two Trains Runnin’


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      Parallel tracks of vicious racism and soulful music-making are followed in this fragmentary portrait of an era. In the early ’60s, a few privileged white kids tried to track down the last bluesmen of the Robert Johnson generation—performers as legendarily powerful as Son House and Skip James.

      Others were joining black church workers and street soldiers in the battle against the KKK and other violent southerners for the basic rights of citizenship. (Apparently, these creeps never went away.) Here, we follow two sets of gloriously naive music pilgrims—one including influential guitarist John Fahey—and details are fleshed out with the by-now-expected animation, à la Searching for Sugar Man. These vignettes only occasionally add to this perhaps overly ambitious tale of intertwined social movements. On that note, does anybody really think record-collecting Jewish teens were high-fiving each other in 1964?


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