Above the fray in every way, this powerful anthem from Johnnie Walker beseeches our torn country to “Keep Walking America.”
November 8, 2016
Above the fray in every way, comes this gorgeous film celebrating America’s ideals and spirit, words eloquently written by Woody Guthrie expressed through the voice of a Latin American.
Yes, it’s a political message, stoically defending our diverse country of immigrants in the face of fear mongers like Donald Trump. (Building a wall against these people –all people- is indefensible.)
And yes, of course, it’s a commercial for Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey. And so what if it is? This does not lesson the “message” in any way. Sharing a well-earned drink among good men is a wonderful thing. A grand film sponsored by a proud spirit is not a sin. Here the advertiser is a patron of the arts and we are better for it.
But it’s more than that. This short film is an anthem for our time – for all time. Indeed, many of the images depict an America we know, remember or, failing that, at least mythologize. Strong men and women moving forward. Persevering. Getting the job done. Celebrating together. That most if not all of the people in the film are Latino changes none of that. As intended, these iconic portrayals of farmers and workers and parents are only intensified emotionally by them all being Latino.
Taking the high road and not stumbling into treacle is no easy feat. Like the characters it portrays this “commercial” never falters. The care put into its production (casting, audio, video, editorial, etc.) is impeccable. His politics aside, if you told me Clint Eastwood directed this piece I would have believed you. Such are the production values.
With stewardship from various agencies (in this case Anomaly), Johnnie Walker has been doing a marvelous job delivering powerful stories toward their longtime theme, “Keep walking.” And this small masterpiece is no exception.
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