For our European readers, Oscar-nominated director Katja Esson‘s five-part “Backroads” documentary is airing this week on the European television Arte channel, including the “Route 66 in the South West” segment on Friday.
According to Arte’s online channel guide, the program will air at 6:25 p.m. local time. Translated from German, the description of the program is:
Chicago to Los Angeles, the route 66, the most famous road in North America. For a long time it was the main east-west route through the United States. And she has many names: Street of Dreams, Mother Road, the Great diagonal. Its construction began in the 20s of the last century and helped numerous small towns along the way to prosperity and growth. She became famous in the 30s, however, when hundreds of thousands of impoverished farmers before the severe drought from the Midwest to California fled and Route 66 to the “Highway of Hope” made. The road is therefore for many still the symbol of the American dream.
A modern highway system in the U.S. led to the demise of the legendary route. But in the minds and in the stories of people living with and on the Route 66, her myth is as alive as ever.
Dan Rice at 66-to-Cali on the Santa Monica Pier was interviewed and consulted for the Route 66 segment, as were Vicki Ashcraft at Enchanted Trails RV Park in Albuquerque, Clifton Lewis at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Ariz., Angel Delgadillo in Seligman, Ariz., Lilo Russell from Westside Lilo’s Cafe in Seligman, and volunteers at the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville.
In case you’re wondering, Esson was nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary short category in 2004 for “Ferry Tales,” about women commisserating in the Staten Island Ferry powder room.
ARTE says it will stream the program online up to seven days here after its initial broadcast date. However, that streaming is blocked in the United States.