87 minutes, 2002, DVCAM

“With gentle humor and a keen eye for detail, Hawes-Davis offers a telling commentary on the American relationship with nature and the open road.” All Movie Guide

“A tragicomic portrait of an un-landed gentry in search of a mythical America that is fast giving way to the concrete realities of mass-market placelessness.” Metropolis   (read full review)

“***1/2. Marvelous… Highly recommended.” Video Librarian   (read full review)

“Visionary…. fascinating, humane, terrifying, futuristic and very, very, very wry, you’ll never go supermarket in quite the same way again.” kinoKulture  (read full review)

“The trick is to remain invisible, and act like you know what you’re doing. Fact is, that’s the definition of the American Dream.’ So says Ned Mudd in one song from his THIS IS NOWHERE soundtrack music. Over Midwestern truckstop blues, Mudd croaks out lyrics with a vocal manner reminiscent of Frank Zappa, or Robbie Robertson on a lazy day. Doug Hawes-Davis and John Lilburn serve a new reading of the American dream. And thanks to the unobtrusive style of the filmmaking, the viewer is allowed to contemplate a handful of factors concerning retirement, the economy, gluttony, and the inability of some people to stay planted.”   (read full review)

“Hawes-Davis recently finished his 3rd feature-length documentary, THIS IS NOWHERE, a four-year project that takes the viewer on an utterly fascinating journey to examine the motivations and philosophies of RV travelers.” BOISEweekly  (read full review)

“The importance of THIS IS NOWHERE lies in its grave outlook on where our consumer culture is heading is we don’t become aware of our tendency to push ever outward and require more sprawl and more convenience.” Birmingham Weekly  (read full review)

“Two documentaries that will be screened at the 2002 Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival offer living proof that real life is more bizarre than any fiction. Doug Hawes-Davis went looking for America and Ilan Saragosti went looking for a mirror. Both ended up in the theater of the absurd. Each came away with a fascinating story.” Preview Magazine  (read full review)

“Witty, profound and inventive, this is documentary filmmaking at its best.” Missoula Independent   (read full review)

“It is a given that in Hawes-Davis films that his subject will be treated with fairness and some hilarity - it is compassion that allows his camera to lay bare its subject. Quick judgments are withheld, and the smooth, anti-art road of indictment and malice is avoided. This can be said even though the film delves brazenly into the negative implications of this radically consumptive road culture and its banal superstore fixation. This film is about a culture that views the world as entertainment, and the fantastic level of abstraction that such a view requires.” Mountain Gazette  (read full review)

“The film allows the RV-ers…to speak for themselves, and the result is…sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing commentary about contemporary American values.” Mother Jones  (read full review)

“Paints a playful but also rather disturbing picture of this societal trend.” Missoula Independent   (read full review)

“It’s a hoot!” RV Lifestyle

“A cinematic curiosity not unlike the films of Jeff Krulik or Errol Morris. Hawes-Davis’ ironic ode to the new America is a sad tale of folks who want the homogeneity and convenience that Wal-Mart emblematizes while still maintaining the illusion of freedom and an attunement with nature.” Terminal City Weekly

“Curiously wonderful and funny.” Missoulian

“Alternately humorous and serious, interviews are interspersed with clips of historical travelers, including Lewis and Clark, who traveled through the area. Conversational topics range from the decline of small town centers, the joys of traveling, and the camaraderie of boon dockers. A delightful film, full of interesting people.” Escapees

“Hawes-Davis presents an ironic and strangely dissonant interpretation of American culture in the documentary film, This is Nowhere, an expose of RV travelers who circumnavigate the country ‘camping’ in Wal-Mart parking lots. Through ingenious editing, the viewer is taken on a journey of cultural contradictions, driven by the balderdash of Wal-Mart campers who speak their minds on a panoply of issues: mobility, freedom, nature, resources, consumption, government, social class, community, globalization and homogenization, suburban sprawl, urban poverty and blight. The result is a theater of the absurd acted out in surreal Wal-Mart-scapes and highway strip developments, vehicles and people jiggling in fast motion staccato, going nowhere. The film encourages us to pause and reflect on paradoxes that underscore American culture.” Kevin E. McHugh in The Journal of Cultural Geography

“Paints a playful but also rather disturbing picture of this societal trend.”  Missoula Independent

“Documentary filmmakers Doug Hawes-Davis and John Lilburn delve into the world of the American camper, RV and motor home lifestyle in which transient travelers live in luxury on wheel and camp at Wal-Mart.” Idaho Statesman

“In an age of market globalization and shifting individual identities, it’s important that we look around us at the focal points of people’s habits and passions. This is Nowhere does just that with a curious segment of U.S. society—well-off retirees who tour the country in RVs and camp out in Wal-Mart parking lots. With this focus, the people at High Plains Films are able to probe issues of urban sprawl, marketization, and cultural homogenization. At the same time, the film reveals several contradictions experienced by this group of people (and many of us): for example, expressing our freedom yet choosing sameness, simplifying life but trying to ‘have it all,’ valuing community yet spending time in ways that make community increasingly out of reach, and ‘rediscovering’ nature from the perspective of pavement.” George Cheney, Director of Graduate Studies, Dept of Communication, University of Montana

“A collection of interviews and artful camera work that examines the lives and lifestyles of people who live in RVs parked on Wal-Mart parking lots. The travellers claim that they are living life, seeing America and experiencing freedom. What we see looks a lot like…a parking lot.” Chicago Anarchist Film Festival

“Covering the ghastly spectacle of contemporary US life is a nasty job, but somebody’s got to do it, and High Plains Films has done it very well.” James Howard Kunstler, Author, The Geography of Nowhere

“Excellent…an interesting, funny, endearing, sometimes sorrowful look at the people who call themselves ‘Wally Worlders.’” Montana Kaiman

“America is homogenized and the regional differences are gone. Why should a traveler have to endure any hardship? Meet the new breed of traveler who wishes to “camp” in absolute comfort, without the messy dirt, fire, outhouses, trees or animals.” SF Indiefest

“Each year, all across America, tens of thousands of travelers and retirees steer their massive campers and RVs into Wal-Mart parking lots to ‘camp.’ They sit in front of their RVs on folding chairs, confabulate with their temporary neighbors, and buy anything they might need inside the adjacent Wal-Mart, which is why the giant retailer allows them to stay. After a night or two, each traveler starts their engine and moves on, towards a new town and a different, yet same, Wal-Mart parking lot.  filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis wryly captures the attitudes and opinions of this aimless subculture as they discuss politics, nature, civic values and each other. On another level, THIS IS NOWHERE is about the increasingly homogeneous geographic and intellectual landscape. As one traveler put it, ‘It’s hard to remember where you’ve been.’” Central Standard Film Festival

“Ironic and witty.” Curve

“THIS IS NOWHERE, showing Wednesday at The Met Theater, investigates the symbiotic relationship between Wal-Mart and a segment of RV travelers. But, it does more. It also tackles bigger issues of urban sprawl, consumerism and the homogeneity of American culture.” Spokesman-Review

“Ever since the days of the pioneers, Americans have been great travelers. Yet, as THIS IS NOWHERE eloquently illustrates, America has changed quite a bit since Lewis and Clark embarked on their legendary expedition. These days, instead of blazing trails through the wild frontier, contemporary sojourners are now content to gravitate toward the security, comfort and monotony of America’s newest epicenter: Wal-Mart parking lots.” Timothy McGettigan, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Colorado State University-Pueblo

“It seems as if there is no end to subcultures that exist in the United States. Sometimes, I am flabbergasted by the nature of some of these groups, and THIS IS NOWHERE presents yet another bizarre subculture that left me with my jaw hanging.” Grand Rapids Press   (read full review)

“Humorous and smart, the film raises provocative questions about community values, liberty, consumerism, and the American dream.”  Natural Home & Garden   (read full review)

“A rather disturbing picture.”  RV Business  (read full review)

“A quirky film that provides a view into a small segment of society that makes the RV their primary residence. There are roughly 3 million people who have chosen this as their lifestyle that the census used to refer to as the ‘affluent homeless.’ I was drawn to their unique way of life and the sense of contentment many of the couples exuded from the freedom of mobility.” The Californian   (read full review)

“Ever wonder who’s driving those RVs around the country? Well THIS IS NOWHERE provides the definitive answer, while also explaining why they all seem to love Wal-Mart so much.”  (read full review)

“Facsinating, hilarious and surprisingly insightful.” Cascadia Weekly  (read full review)

“Sort of a cross between Lost in America and Mall Rats, with a little Roger & Me thrown in for good measure, This is Nowhere profiles a handful of travelers, mostly seniors, who have found community, wide-open space and extremely convenient shopping - all in one place.”  Enough!  (read full review)

“Director Doug Hawes-Davis turns a sharp eye on one of the more bizarre aspects of American culture through his interviewees who are camped out on the cement in the Wal-Mart in Missoula, Montana.” Phoenix Cinema  (read full review)

“Powerful. The film paints a disturbing, almost tragic, portrait of people looking for something different, yet wanting everything to be the same. And while it’s easy to laugh at the inconsistencies and near hypocrisy found in the lifestyle choices of people introduced in this documentary, it’s unfortunately just as easy to identify with their motivations. Thus it’s upsettingly obvious that their lives, and the entire film, provide a metaphor that can be extended to American culture and American aspirations at large.”   (read full review)

“Filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis and co-director John Lilburn set out to document this emerging social phenomenon with the idea that this story was bigger than a few wayward tourists with curious tastes in camping spots.”   (read full review)

“The film does well to let these road warriors speak for themselves…. and this film catches up with a dozen or so of them, as their travels take them through Missoula, Montana, a very nice town with a Wal-Mart that looks just like hundreds of others.”  Digitally Obsessed!  (read full review)

“A film of words and images set to an edgy soundtrack. What begins as a celebration of personal freedom turns into a discussion of political ideals, the social effects of big business, and a desire to escape from both”  (read full review)

“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 Local Planet   (read full review)

“While the topic of the documentary is the phenomena of Wal-Mart camping, we are gently exposed to other social concerns worthy of reflection; consumerism, cultural differences, freedom, civic pride, and the price of oil and the affects it has on our way of life. Our Wal-Mart guests are not shy about sharing their thoughts, beliefs and dreams. While they are treated with fairness and honesty, the filmmakers are also not reticent in underscoring the many ironies proposed by the interviewees. The soundtrack is also used with great effect to stress these ironies. THIS IS NOWHERE is enriched by the inclusion of the unique stylings (and often commentary-ridden lyrics) of Ned Mudd.” Michael’s Movie Mahem  (read full review)

“Documentary filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis goes to Wal-Mart to ask questions about American culture in his latest film THIS IS NOWHERE, which screens this month at the Brattleboro Environmental Film Festival.”   (read full review)