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Best Documentary – Special Jury Mention, Tribeca Film Festival
IN TRANSIT journeys into the hearts and minds of everyday passengers aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder, the busiest long-distance train route in America. Captured in the tradition of Direct Cinema, the film unfolds as a series of interconnected vignettes, ranging from overheard conversations to moments of deep intimacy, in which passengers share their fears, hopes and dreams. In the space between stations, where ‘real life’ is suspended, we are swept into a fleeting community that transcends normal barriers, and where a peculiar atmosphere of contemplation and community develops. To some passengers, the train is flight and salvation, to others it is reckoning and loss. But for all, it is a place for personal reflection and connecting with others they may otherwise never know.
“It’s beautifully assembled and touching, and an apt memorial for Mr. Maysles.” The New York Times
“Maysles and his collaborators capture ‘the rhythm of the tracks’ in their film. It is a machine that generates empathy.” RogerEbert.com
“Themes of escape, transformation and ‘finding yourself’ form a common thread through the stories, whether it’s running toward something or away from it, and show that everyone has a tale to tell if you just ask.” Rolling Stone
“Magnifying ordinary people by turning their internal processes into objects of fascination, ‘In Transit’ epitomizes the Maysles legacy.” IndieWire