As a young man the British documentary maker Richard Grant moved to America and soon found himself in the world of nomadic travelers, jumping onto moving freight trains and heading ‘wherever’. More than a decade later he hits the road again, this time in a car, travelling thousands of miles seeking to track down the latest generation of hobos and nomads. This superb 2011 documentary, American Nomads, is the result of the filming and took 8 years to complete.
He meets with people who hitch a lift on freight trains, hitchhikers, drifters, drop-outs, meets a new breed of affluent older nomads who cash in their worldly possessions for life in an RV, and with a fascinating man who went to Alaska with the intention of committing suicide but fell in love with the nature and instead spent the next 25 years and counting roaming the state in all weathers.
Richard Grant had previously written a book about his travels across America and the nomadic characters that he met on the way, Ghost Riders: Travels with American Nomads, published by Abacus in 2003 and available in hardback, paperback and kindle editions.