Twice Upon a Caravan (1933)

A terrific solo motorcycle adventure and priceless sociological archive all in one. All delivered with a hushed breath of quiet humility and gratitude.

In 1932 New Yorker and architecture student Robert Fulton Jnr had finished a year’s post-grad study in London. Most Yanks would have boarded a steamer at Southampton and been home in a week. Not so young Robert… He scrounged a Douglas motorcycle and set off overland, destination Japan, where he finally did get the boat back to Uncle Sam’s shores. Eighty years later his journey would be legitimately impressive but imagine the world he crossed; mostly dirt roads, almost completely devoid of telephones and infrastructure as we know it today. He traversed a Europe not plunging head-first into war, a Middle East still firmly under British control and an India destined to be British forever. His foray into Chiang Kai Shek’s pre-communist China brought him into a society almost frozen in time. Robert Fulton is a hero of this festival since he had the energy and diligence to shoot thirteen hours of film and pioneer a route which in only a few years would become impossible. We salute him!

B/W