Barstow, California

V'18

Barstow, California

Rainer Komers
D/USA, 2018
Features, 76min, OmdU

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

Barstow, California

Rainer Komers
D/USA, 2018
Features, 76min, OmdU

Cast: 
„Spoon“ Jackson
Abraham Jackson
Ray Jackson
Screenplay: 
Rainer Komers
„Spoon“ Jackson
Sound: 
Michel Klöfkorn
Camera: 
Rainer Komers
Editor: 
Gregor Bartsch

Production: 
kOMERS.film, strandfilm
World Sales: 
kOMERS.film
Format: 
DCP
Color

Alongside the legendary Route 66 lies the city of Barstow, California, a place that seems stuck in time. Not many people want to live there and those who stay look like they lost their chance to get away when they could. It’s not like Barstow is a hellish place to live. Actually it’s more like a limbo on earth, right in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The workers, the occasional drunk, the neighbors and the rest of the people who live in this community seem like survivors of a nuclear attack that never actually happened. Komers’ documentary, the third in a trilogy called The American West, has a narration of sorts, an autobiography of “Spoon” Jackson, a man who’s serving a life sentence without parole since 1977. Through his story, the images of the place, a tour of its local attractions (a literal ghost mining town and a weird-looking military training center) and some casual interviews with a few locals, Komers is able to capture, without romanticizing it, the sad aura of this town, built on broken dreams, forgotten people and left aside – like the Route 66 itself, replaced by an impersonal interstate highway – by the mechanics of progress. Ghosts, in a place stuck on repeat. Collateral damage. (Diego Lerer)

In the presence of Rainer Komers.

Rainer Komers: ERINNERUNG AN RHEINHAUSEN (1989), LETTISCHER SOMMER (1992), B 224 (1999), KOBE (2006), BREATHLESS: DOMINANCE OF THE MOMENT (2009), DAUGAVA DELTA (20015, K)