INDEPENDENT AMERICA: THE TWO-LANE SEARCH FOR MOM & POP
Filmmakers Take to the Road to Uncover Growing Insurgency Against Big Box Retail
These days, you have to go out of your way if you want to do business with Mom & Pop. One couple has taken that notion a little bit farther, 13,000 miles farther to be exact. Independent fi lmmakers and award-winning journalists, Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes, take the road less traveled in a thought provoking new documentary, which uncovers the growing opposition to big box retail across the U.S. and the often desperate fi ght being waged by independent retailers to stay alive.
Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop is an entertaining account of Hosein and Hughes’s expedition through 32 states as they look for an America unchained by corporate retail. Self-imposed road rules bar them from major highways and corporate chain retail. Traveling on alternative roads, the duo can only do business with Mom & Pop.
What the filmmakers fi nd during their travels is the re-emergence of independent retail as individuals and communities band together to preserve not only their livelihoods but also their local communities. Pockets of resistance across the country add up to a nationwide opposition: Starbucks is vandalized in
Colorado. Supporters of an anti-big box law in Arizona are compared to Nazis. A rebellious Texan city forces Borders Books into retreat. Patriotic residents of America’s “Fourth of July” capital in Nebraska start to turn on their new super center. And an entire town in Wyoming goes into business for itself after
it’s abandoned by its chain department store.
Stopping in Bentonville, Arkansas, home to the biggest retailer on the planet, osein and Hughes have a rare and frank conversation with a top Wal-Mart executive. That encounter and their conversations with economists, advocates, political leaders, union members, entrepreneurs and everyday Americans lead them to conclude that it’s really up to the American shopper to decide whether Mom & Pop should survive and thrive. And that any healthy democracy needs to find a place for independent business if it wants to control the ever-growing dominance of powerful corporate retail.
Wal-Mart is high on the national radar right now with controversial films from Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart, The High Cost of Low Price) and Ron and Robert Galloway (Why Wal-Mart Works: And Why That Makes Some People C-r-a-z-y). Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop not only provides a balanced and much larger picture of what is happening in communities across
the country when it comes to chain retail; it provides solutions that viewers can employ to change their lives and their communities.
The film was financed in true mom & pop style by the filmmakers, their families and a private-sector business partner. Executive producer is Tom Powers for Open Door Co. Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop is currently being screened across North America thanks to strong interest by a number of independent grassroots organizations. It’s also under consideration by several major film festivals.
About the Partners:
HRH Media is a West-Coast-based production company founded and operated by Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes. Open Door Co. is a Toronto-based production company offering compelling, relevant and entertaining factual programming with worldwide distribution.
Independent America: The Two Lane Search For Mom & Pop is available on DVD from the film Web site at: www.independentamerica.net