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‘Hitchhiking to the Edge of Sanity’ Recounts an Adventurous, Continent-Spanning ’70s Roadtrip

"What started out as two young Kansas kids setting out to find themselves in late 1970, turned to disillusionment and danger."

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Hitchhiking to the Edge of Sanity

Logline: In the turbulent social upheaval of the early 1970s, an idealistic writer and his soon-to-be-married photographer friend set out to find their purpose via a terrifying hitchhiking trip across the Sahara Desert.

Elevator Pitch:

In 1971 in Accra, Ghana, Steve Ewert woke up in a cold sweat. Bugs crawled out his mouth. Fear gripped his very soul. “I’m losing my mind!” he cried repeatedly to his travel companion Dick Russell.

What started out as two young Kansas kids setting out to find themselves in late 1970, turned to disillusionment and danger. Photographer Ewert and writer Russell traveled across Europe and Africa experiencing the continents in Forrest Gump fashion — meeting the famous and the unusual (Henri Cartier-Bresson, James Jones, Dutch anarchists, Ashanti tribal chiefs, Black Panthers, soldiers, fetish priests) under increasingly dangerous circumstances.

Production Team:

Producer/Director/Editor – Scott Petersen (Emmy-winning “The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz”)
Director of Photography – Pete Biagi
Original Music – Patrick Kirst

About the Film:

I love travel. It’s the best way to understand other culture and yourself. Through the lens of Steve Ewert and the words of Dick Russell, I’m telling their story of friendship and growing up in a world fractured by political strife and personal uncertainty.

Current Status: Post-production.

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