Still from Gringo Trails
Still from Gringo Trails
 

Gringo Trails

by Pegi Vail
This penetrating doc travels to some of the world’s top tourist destinations and exposes the dark side of all those sunny vacations.
2014  ·  1h19m  ·  United States
English
About the Film
GRINGO TRAILS is a feature-length documentary that raises urgent questions about one of the most powerful globalizing forces of our time: tourism. Spanning South America, Africa and Asia, the tourist pathway known as the “gringo trail” has facilitated both life-altering adventures and the despoiling of many once virgin environments. The film follows stories along the trail to reveal the complex relationships between colliding cultures: host countries hungry for financial security and the tourists who provide it in their quest for authentic experiences. “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves,” says best-selling travel writer Pico Iyer; “and we travel, next, to find ourselves.” We travel for escape and for encounter, to challenge our assumptions and our limits, and to expand our visions of the possible. As dramatically as travelers are altered by new landscapes, values and belief systems, they also unavoidably alter the people and places they visit. GRINGO TRAILS first takes us on a harrowing journey with one man’s story of getting lost in the Amazon jungle in 1981 that has had an unexpected effect on future generations. We meet the original inhabitant of an island on the Salt Flats of Bolivia as he faces the dilemma of trying to preserve its ecosystem while still allowing outsiders to experience its unique magic. We see the unintended but devastating impact of a traveler’s search for an ‘unspoiled’ island paradise in Thailand and the ethical quandries of locals in a position to profit from tourism. We follow a woman’s personal transformation as her romantic fantasies about ‘the unknown’ meet reality in Timbuktu. We also meet locals worldwide as they express the desire for visitors to better understand how to respectfully walk on their sacred lands, including one indigenous community  that has become a model for sustainable tourism in South America.
Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Festivals and Awards
2014
Margaret Mead Film Festival, American Museum of Natural History, World Premiere
2014
Planet in Focus Festival, Canadian Premiere
2014
Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival, Special Jury Award
2014
Green Docs at Asia Society of Hong Kong, Opening Film
2014
Galway Film Fleadh of Ireland, Official Selection
2014
RiverRun International Film Festival, Official Selection
2014
Yale Environmental Film Festival, Official Selection
2014
Sebastopol Documentary Festival, Official Selection
2014
Environment Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, Official Selection
2014
New Zealand Documentary Edge International Film Festival, Official Selection
In the Press
Review
The Daily Beast
Interview
Skift Podcast
Review
The Hollywood Reporter
Review
Criterion Cast
Editor
Heidi Schlatter
Cinematographer
Melvin Estrella
Animator
Begonia Lopez and Victor Melton
Soundtrack Composer
Laura Ortman

Share

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on tumblr
Tumblr
Share on stumbleupon
StumbleUpon
Share on pocket
Pocket
Share on telegram
Telegram
Share on email
Email