The Bikes of Wrath is a story of adventure, human connection, and an in-depth look at today’s America through the lens of John Steinbeck’s seminal novel, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.
The Bikes of Wrath tells the story of five Australian friends as they attempt to cycle from Oklahoma to California in honor of the mighty westward migration undertaken by ‘The Grapes of Wrath’s’ Joad family. Seeking to gain a greater understanding of the Dust Bowl, explore the central themes of the novel and discuss their relevance in today’s America, the Bikes of Wrath set-out on their 30-day cycling adventure with no support vehicle, no training and, as one member puts it best: ‘no real idea.’ Loaded with trailers, musical instruments and camera equipment, the group set themselves the additional challenge of surviving off $420 (the modern-day equivalent of the Joads’ $18 in the 1930s) and whatever their musical performances can yield. Through chance encounters with everyday Americans, the cyclists expand on the novel’s core themes: migration, inequality and the perceived land of opportunity. The group explores whether America has progressed since the book was written, discussing the wealth gap, immigration and the American Dream. Letting the cyclists into their homes, lives, and demonstrating the startling parallels of The Grapes of Wrath seventy-eight years after its publication, these vastly different small-town characters quickly become the central focus of the documentary, as well as integral to the success of the groups’ journey.
The Bikes of Wrath uncovers a deep insight into the human spirit and shines a positive light on America at a time when the world needs it most; all rolled into a unique, funny and life-affirming observational documentary filled with adventure, literature, music, and human connection.