A Flea Market Documentary
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This program from film-maker Rick Sebak (A HOT DOG PROGRAM) is an unabashed celebration of unusual people and enticing things to be found in parking lots, fairgrounds, drive-ins, on sidewalks, and wherever a sign says ""Flea Market."" It's capitalism mixed with craziness. Starring amazing old stuff, great salespeople, the ancient tradition of the open-air market, and the possibility of bargains, all uniting shoppers across the nation.
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Rick Sebak is usually associated with just Pittsburgh, but this takes a look at flea markets all over the country. I'm a little disappointed in the fact that a lot of the flea markets that were in the documentary are not longer around. I would have loved to travel the country going to each and every one of them.
This documentary is a favorite; my best friend (read: travel accomplice) and I love it. It is a virtual road trip, scouring the continental US for its most intriguing flea markets, from the miles-long yard sale to the urbane open-air market. Lighthearted and fun, with unbelievable merchandise (and the people selling and buying aren't so normal either).
Perhaps at times this documentary lulls a bit, especially if by "documentary" you hope for an innovation like Trekkies, American Movie, or Crumb. This, remember, is PBS programming. But it is fine work indeed; although "American Culture" seems like an oxymoron, our nation's history, and especially its quirks, can be found (and bought or sold) under the tents or trees of these special roadside monuments.