Unknown Existence by Cooper Wickum
Cooper Wickum narrates the story of a man named Dale Wickum about a trip he took on the railway system in the central part of the United States in 1970 to research the life of hobos.
It seems as if Cooper had the photographs and some written evidence and pieced what little he had together to formulate his script. He repeats himself and that leads me to believe that he has little information to go on. He tells us that the hobos are loners and many of them alcoholics. They form bonds quickly and are all engaged in survival.
Apparently, Dale Wickum spent three months traveling on railroad cars with a camera and some black and white film to document the life of hobos. Dale met many men during his trip along the railway system. There were some quotations from Dale in the film and one feels removed from the story because the plot has little or no evidence of detailed events that happened during Dales trips. The writing has straight forward facts with a few of Dales quotes about the hobos sprinkled into the film.
Technically the film was good. However, I would have liked to see more photos in the film. The music in the background had a suspenseful and dramatic tone to it and felt it helped the film greatly. The music was perhaps the best sensation about the whole film.
Perhaps Cooper was privy to a journal left behind by Dale? One asks the question about Cooper’s relationship to Dale. Perhaps Dale is his father or uncle but it is not revealed during the story. The story would of been better if Cooper were to of told us more about actual events that Dale encountered along the way. It was if we were looking through two lenses and left to ask many questions. This story would have been much richer if there were more photographs and intimate details about Dale’s true experience on the trains.