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Directed by James Benning

United States 2007 111 mins. In English

“Looping, chugging, and barreling by, the trains in Benning’s monumental film map a stunning topography and a history of American development. RR comes three decades after Benning and Bette Gordon made THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (1975), a cinematic journey along the country’s interstates that is keenly aware ‘of superhighways and railroad tracks as American public symbols.’ A political essay responding to the economic histories of trains as instruments in a culture of hyper-consumption, RR articulates its concern most explicitly when Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex speech is heard as a mile-long coal train passes through eastern Wyoming. Benning spent two and a half years collecting two hundred and sixteen shots of trains, forty-three of which appear in RR. The locomotives’ varying colors, speeds, vectors, and reverberations are charged with visual thrills, romance, and a nostalgia heightened by Benning’s declaration that this [was] his last work in 16mm film.”—Harvard Film Archive.



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.