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by Arno Bitschy


The United States. Today. A freight train crosses the landscape like a giant steel snake ripping through the silence. One day, three women left everything behind to defy danger and cross the country on board freight trains. They wait for them, hiding in the bushes, sleeping under highway bridges. Christina, 30, is a welder in a factory in Wisconsin; a vocation that came to her when she was traveling alone on the railroad. The contact with steel helped her reconcile her addiction for freight-train travel and a „normal“ life. Karen, 20, a solitary, tormented soul, lives the life of a hobo, a vagabond. She hops from train to train, with no particular destination. The train is like a therapy, to give her self-confidence. On her travels, she falls in love and finds a job. She plans to hang in there and settle down somewhere. Another leap into the unknown. Ivy, 40, ran away from home as a teenager and crisscrossed the country for years on freight trains; an experience which has deeply influenced her. Today, she lives in San Francisco and runs an arttherapy workshop for homeless women and sings in a punk band. She is trying to preserve the islands of counter-culture in part of the city which has been turned into a chic suburb of Silicon Valley. But her biggest desire is to hit the road again, to hop a train and rediscover the ultimate sensation of freedom. Amid the grinding and screeching of the metal beast, the director becomes these women’s traveling companion. Their trajectories cross and echo each other: a desire to live, a spiritual quest, eternal rebellion. They are stronger than society; they are stronger than men; they are free.

international title: This Train I Ride
original title: This Train I Ride
working title: Libres!
country: Finland, France
sales agent: Deckert Distribution
year: 2019
genre: documentary
directed by: Arno Bitschy
film run: 77'
release date: FI 2/12/2019
screenplay: Arno Bitschy
cinematography by: Arno Bitschy
film editing: Catherine Rascon
music: Warren Ellis
producer: Liisa Karpo, Marianne Mäkelä, Clara Vuillermoz, Estelle Robin You
executive producer: Liisa Karpo, Marianne Mäkelä, Clara Vuillermoz, Estelle Robin You
production: Les films du Balibari, napafilms, ARTE France, Lyon Capitale TV
backing: Finnish Film Foundation (FI)
distributor: Kuusan Kino
(The article continues below - Commercial information)

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