New Brunswick, NJ. When Oregon man Jeremy Bryant learned that his grandfather had passed, he decided to make a bold move. An avid gun enthusiast, Jeremy would make a statement in support of 2nd Amendment rights. He would hitchhike to and from his grandfather’s funeral, all while openly carrying a .357 Magnum on his side. And he would film the reactions of the kind Oregonians who offered him a ride.
Jeremy’s goal? To show that everyday Oregonians support open carry. So much so, that they are perfectly willing to pick up a stranger carrying a gun.
Jeremy’s documentary short, "Hitchhiking w/ a .357 Magnum," has been featured at the Utah Arts Festival, the Let's All Be Free Festival, the Toronto Smartphone Film Festival, and onSeptember 15 it will open the New Jersey Film Festival .
Shot in Oregon, "Hitchhiking w/ a .357" was put together here in the Garden State by producers Thomas Francine and Dori Goikhman. Thomas, an Edison resident with a special interest in producing content which highlights the "greater good" of humanity, found that Jeremy's project fit his theme in a peculiar way.
With regards to the unusual content of this film, Thomas states , " Partisan negativity in the U.S. has reached a record high . Hitchhiking w/ a .357 Magnum puts a human face on a controversial subject, and I hope this fosters understanding and encourages positive dialogue." Thomas also says – "What's most shocking about this film is not that there is a gun involved – it's how incredibly kind and trusting the people of the United States – from all walks of life – can be."
Interestingly, Thomas met Jeremy in 2010, while hitchhiking around the US (sans gun). Jeremy, who states, "I've picked up every hitchhiker I've ever seen," kindly offered Thomas a ride.
Back in Oregon, Jeremy was helped by an unlikely assortment of people: a rocker, a pregnant beauty student, a miner, and even a female security officer from the airport. Amazingly, not a single person who initially pulled over changed their mind once Jeremy disclosed that he was armed. In fact, most expressed excitement and support for Jeremy’s act.
“I carry a firearm to keep the peace good and dignity of my country and the welfare of its people,” Jeremy repeats throughout the trip. And most of his new friends seem to welcome this line of thought.
The moral of the story? According to Jeremy, “People help each other, because they don’t want to hurt each other.”
The trailer for "Hitchhiking w/ a .357 Magnum," can be seen at Thomas Francine's website, gogreatergood.com/hitchhiking-with-a-gun/
The full schedule for the New Jersey Film Festival can be seen at njfilmfest.com .