These are the final years of a prodigious decade: the 60’s. Various symptoms indicate that the american dream was vanishing, and that the anti-establishment naiveness had to be transformed, there had to be a rupture. Society faces the great issues: the Vietnam War, racism, the capitalist predation, sexuality, music and drugs. Here and there different expressions of what is named as the counterculture arise. In the face of the millitary sacrifice, university students throw themselves into a vital experimentation. It is no serendipitous that Jimmy Hendrix asks in his first album, Are you experienced?
Easy rider, titled in Mexico as Busco mi destino, can be considered as a synthesis of what is lived throughout that period; it is a seminal work. In its heyday, it is a key piece of the road movie renaissance, it is a modernizaton of that american leyend, the Western, and above all, it is a portrait of what experience implies: the trip that gathers the physical and mental planes.
In the Mexico of president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz it is unacceptable that two northamericans (Captain America, Peter Fonda and Billy, Dennis Hopper) buy drugs in Tijuana. From that moment the movie faces problems to be commercially exhibited.
Facing censorship, the movie, finds its place in the university film societies alongside the French New Wave, the Independent Mexican Cinema and the real socialism new generation of filmmakers. From 1970 Easy Rider fills the cinema clubs show after show. It can be said that it is the Rome of that decade.
In its review, Roger Ebert recalls how it had a similar impact in the U.S. It is a key piece in the programming of alternative movie theaters. Its cult film status flourishes there, and curiously, its financial success too. Much has been written about the stark contrast between 1968 (el 68) and 1969. In the former, the courage of utopia is palpable, and in the latter the disenchantment of defeat is breathed. Something has been said about the crime where Sharon Tate dies, it is committed by Charles Manson, as the end of a hippie dream. Through a different road, Easy Rider has the acid taste of pesimism. In 1969 the shadows are more intense, the dream becomes a nightmare, it is a bad trip.
Fifty years ago, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda create a movie which in spite of censorship, incomprehension and intolerance has the breath of freedom. That is how classics are born. Welcome Captain America.