This Is Nowhere

Doug Hawes-Davis.| 87 minutes. High Plains Films.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


This Is Nowhere explores the zany, postmodern subculture of travelers who wander the country in RVs, camping in Wal-Mart parking lots. You heard right: camping at Wal-Mart. About 7 million Americans roam the country in motor homes and trailers. Wal-Mart, evidently, has smelled their purchasing power — and welcomed them to overnight in store parking lots, secure in the knowledge that money not spent at a KOA often ends up in their cash registers.

The film allows the RV-ers at a Wal-Mart in Missoula, Montana, to speak for themselves, and the result is 87 minutes of raw, sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing commentary about contemporary American values. We meet a gold miner, a former NASA engineer, and a retired Sears promotions manager who marvels at being able to exchange endlessly (10 times and counting) defective Wal-Mart canvas sneakers and memorably recounts burying his dead cat in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Mexico.

The campers express similar motivations: wanderlust and a desire to see the natural beauty of America. Indeed, the backdrop for the film is the forested skyline of the Sapphire Mountains. Punctuating the irony of the RV-ers’ journeys from one identical box store to another, however, the film ends with a montage of Missoula’s strip culture, which might as well be Anywhere — or Nowhere — USA.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate