87 minutes, 2002, DVCAM

“Vacation at Wally World”
The Local Planet, July 8, 2002
Spokane, Washington
by TLP Staff

Wal-Marts are becoming important and valuable travel destinations.
Nearly three million Americans live year-around in motor homes, campers or
travel trailers, according to the new documentary This is Nowhere. And the
popular nowhere of the title, the most popular destination of these vagabonds, is a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Montana’s High Plains Films spent four years documenting the motivations and philosophies of RV travelers in Wal-Mart parking lots.
Co-director John Lilburn said, “What we found so compelling is that Wal-Marts are becoming important and valuable travel destinations, just as National Parks, museums and historic sites are important travel destinations. It’s clear the phenomenon is a reflection of ongoing changes in American culture.”

“The travelers we interviewed are not out of the ordinary,” says filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis. “They are representative Americans who share a common bond of loving to travel in RVs, and loving Wal-Mart. Most of them are interested in nature, meeting new people, learning about our nation’s history, or just plain new experiences, but they are also interested in the predictability, homogeneity, and sameness that Wal-Mart provides for travel and shopping.”

This is Nowhere will be released soon, the filmmakers say. They’re seeking channels for distribution now, and they’re hoping to present at film festivals around the nation.

Of course, Commander Conrad and his pals are bucking for some late-night screenings this summer on the side wall of the Valley Wal-Mart. Bring your own lawn chairs and bug spray.