Running on empty

United States, 1988

Film
Image via TMDb

An absorbing film about a pair of anti-Vietnam activists (Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti) who have been in hiding from the FBI for over fifteen years. Still committed to their radical ideals, the couple have to face a crisis of conscience when their talented oldest son (River Phoenix) begins to dream about attending music college and leaving behind his life on the run. This under-rated film is an extremely clear-headed portrayal of how the the politics of the Vietnam era still affects the social relationships of contemporary America. One of the most remarkable features of this film is the compassionate tone it extends across the generations. This complex and intelligent film is a film that refuses the easy revisionist moralism of Kasdan’s “The Big Chill”. Made in a decade notable for computer generated whimsy, this very adult Hollywood film is a treasure.

Credits

production company

Lorimar Film Entertainment

co-producer

Amy Robinson

Griffin Dunne

Duration

01:53:00:00

Production places
United States
Production dates
1988

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

304338

Language

English

Audience classification

MA

Subject categories

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Peace movements

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Motion pictures and the war

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Protest movements

Armed Forces, Military, War & Weapons → Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Psychological aspects

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Peace movements

Feature films

Feature films → Feature films - United States

History → History

History → Peace movements

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Colour

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/83141--running-on-empty/ |title=Running on empty |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=28 October 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}