Dust to Glory
Don’t be surprised if you feel a dry, tickling sensation in the back of your throat after watching the slam-bang racing documentary Dust to Glory. It’s probably from the lingering sand and silt spewed from the knobby wheels of an array of machines that skitter from one end of the Baja Peninsula to the other. Using 90 cameras in a variety of formats, director Dana Brown captures the giddy danger of the race with truly visceral force. In 1967, a few California thrill-seekers had the Eureka spirit to take their homemade race cars for some whooping-up in the wide-open land just a few hours away. Since then, the Baja 1000 has turned into a party-fueled happening that’s more akin to Burning Man than the Indy 500. It’s billed as the world’s longest nonstop race, running point-to-point for 1,000 miles through the Mexican desert from Tijuana to La Paz–pretty much the entire length of Baja.
Dana Brown is the son of Bruce Brown, whose 1966 film The Endless Summer sparked a surfing craze, and still holds up as an incomparable ode to the existential surfing lifestyle. Dust to Glory is by no means so profound and uses more of a Warren Miller thrill-marketing style (he of the annual throwaway extreme-skiing films). Cameras swoop down from helicopters, careen through silt, and are put into tracks over which vehicles pass at extreme speeds. In spite of the adrenaline rush, Dust to Glory is ultimately more about what people think about the higher implications of the competition.
Specification: Dust to Glory