Thumbing Understanding explores the endless possibilities of brief “stranger to stranger” relationships as experienced via hitchhiking. Hitchhiking is generally considered to be risky at best and is most often considered stupid and dangerous, a massive misconception. As a mode of transportation, Hitchhiking essentially forces two or more strangers into a trust relationship, with less than a few moments for judgment. This can be a very beautiful phenomenon. Each encounter is a unique and trusting unpredictable situation that allows insight into human potential.
Some of these events are virtually instantaneous and quickly forgotten. Others one would wish to last forever; those that yield deep insights into our own condition. Some of them positively affect our world view while others leave us longing for a better world. The need to progress and be at your next destination can cloud your judgment and open dangerous doors. Natural elements like winter cold and snow can dull the senses leaving one vulnerable. I decided to discover for myself if hitchhiking really was as precarious an undertaking as I was led to believe by the media and the legends spawned. If we can over come our anxieties and preconceived negative notions about hitchhiking we might gain some valuable understanding into the evolution of mistrust. The reasons for the eradication of hitchhiking as a culture could give us a clearer picture of the subtleties of human interaction. I wanted to find out what love is beyond the tie that holds this universe together.
I wanted to know what it was like to be left to the mercy of my surroundings, the mercy of circumstance. I decided to find out what the people of North America were really like and why Americans only live in America. We are all in this world together and yet we don’t know one another because most people’s lives are ruled by fear. I wanted to find out what fuels this crippling vice in America. I am a documentary filmmaker with a vision of peace.
I wanted to find out what love is, more than the tie that holds this universe together. I wanted to find out what faith is, faith in the individual. What better way than to talk to every person I met. I interviewed every ride. I photographed all the places I went, and I visited loved ones along the way.
The themes of my documentary are exploring an ever changing, allegedly hostile, endlessly entertaining environment. Stepping into your fears and having faith that love will take care of you. Reminding one another when you know what you want all you have to do is show up. We are all pieces of the whole, so let’s do what we can to make it complete.
Hitchhiking is the curriculum that will educate the masses. My story will weave between an informative exploration about hitchhiking: a lost form of travel, eradicated by fear and adopted by the fearless. There are people who will trust a stranger, they just don’t want to advertise. The weave continues with The second part of my project, my personal discovery and reflection on faith and the question: what is being in love?
Hamilton Pevec: 19, Neo anti-systemic renegade gorilla filmmaker, writer, and Hitchhiker. I am intrigued by human relationships and motivated by the limitless diversity I encounter in my travels. Thumbing Understanding is an accurate account of surviving a hash winter with nothing but a loaded backpack and a digital camera. I hit the road, Love driving me to confront my fears, to interview people who made a conscious decision to help a stranger.
Thumbing Understanding is filled with a continent of colorful characters ranging from triple felons with penis enlargements on the run from the law to transient bums who've hitchhiked their whole lives; fingers so chapped they've started falling off. Musicians who are close to making it big. Young people with guns and drugs or old people with stories of guns and drugs. Beautiful women, truckers and their super sized subculture. Hippies, farmers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, friends and family.