Competition Documentary Feature
The Last Race
Directed by: Michael Dweck
USA, 2018, 74m
Talent in Attendance on April 11th
Long Island was the birthplace of American stock car racing. At its peak, more than 40 racetracks dotted the landscape. Today, one remains—Riverhead Raceway. The land under the track is valued at over $10 million. The only thing keeping the bulldozers away are a pair of stubborn owners, Barbara and Jim. Aging and in failing health, they hate to think of their life’s passion being leveled for another big-box store. A sale would also cast adrift the extended tribe of adrenaline-junky drivers, fans, and families, all inexorably linked to the asphalt oval where blue-collar glory still triumphs over white-collar profit. Working class to the core, they see their universe slipping away, overwhelmed by the same generic commerce and culture that replaces indigenous life around the world. If the track goes, the roar of engines will be replaced by the barely perceptible hum of retail muzak. There will be no speed, no thrills, no fights, no crashes, and no glory. There will be nothing but a deadly calm. This is The Last Race, a gorgeous, impressionistic film capturing the end times of a uniquely American culture whose worth won’t be recognized until its gone.
Off-season, New England’s remote Oceanic Hotel and the 43-acre Star Island on which it sits is home to one woman: the winter caretaker who braves the colder, darker months of inclement weather by embracing solitude and finding inspiration in it. The latest work from longtime FFF alumnus Brian Bolster (“The Tricks List,” FFF 2016; “The Lookout,” FFF 2012).