We Pedal Uphill (2008)
13 vignettes look at a country lost in a haze of post-catastrophic neurosis. From the PR handlers scouring the redwood forest for the perfect spot for a presidential photo op to the gay teenage son of a right-wing politician to the hurricane that brought so many of vastly different backgrounds together (albeit too briefly), the question of what has become of "The Land of the Free" is asked.
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Critic Reviews for We Pedal Uphill
Cinema Verite' is alive and well as Roland Tec look at what the last seven years of the Bush administration hath wrought. Study, but do not repeat.
Occasionally compelling and provocative, but mostly underwhelming and lacking intrigue. At least it's a much more truthful depiction of America post-9/11 than the propaganda film Proud American, produced by American Airlines and Coca-Cola.
With a few notable exceptions, pic relies on O. Henry-esque twists, simplistic surprise endings and "aha!" epiphanies to gets its points across.
Despite [director] Tec's worthy intentions, the movie is a mixed bag that seems outdated in its failure to take on the most distressing legacy of the Bush years: the global economic collapse.
You keep hoping the late Robert Altman would reappear and take over this haphazard, dying-to-be-meaningful omnibus account of America today.
The performances are across-the-board solid (most of the cast is theater-based).
This collage ... all too frequently succumbs to moralistic clichés, and never coheres into a rousing, affecting whole.
All of Roland Tec's miniportraits highlight the snake oil hucksterism and manufactured fear that still beset America.
The lack of research is painfully apparent throughout, as Tec's failure to articulate issues from voting fraud to the Patriot Act ultimately reduces any potentially valid social criticism to mere conspiracy theory.
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