Skip to content

Directed by Mark Kendall

United States 2012 81 mins. In English

Every day, dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States and migrate through Mexico to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and reborn as the brightly colored camionetas that bring most Guatemalans to work. Kendall’s lyrical film follows the migration of one Pennsylvania bus as well as the personal stories of five individuals whose lives become intertwined with its transformation. Like the bus that unites their stories, the choice between obsolescence and innovation defines their decisions, propelling them toward an increasingly uncertain future in a country where civil institutions and authorities are powerless to protect citizens from organized crime. What slowly emerges is a vivid and rich meditation on the universal quest for mobility—and survival. “An upbeat story of resilience, regeneration, and artistic imagination.”—Stephen Holden, The New York Times.

Genres: Documentary

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.