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Road Scholar
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A feature-length film chronicling the cross-country road trip of Andrei Codrescu, the Romanian-born poet and NPR humorist. Released theatrically by the Samuel Goldwyn Company.
Andrei Codrescu, award-winning writer, humorist, and commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," offers a humorous, ironic and uplifting look at the immigrant experience. Codrescu's journey to find his cultural identity leads him on a 4,500 mile road trip across country in a bright red 1968 Cadillac convertible. Having just learned to drive, Codrescu looks at the country through what he calls "two set of eyes: the ones looking at the New World from the vantage point of the old, and the ones looking at the old from the vantage point of the new."

Codrescu begins his journey in New York City where he first entered the United States in the 1960's as a dissident Romanian Jew from Transylvania. Codrescu traces the steps of his immigrant past, visiting former homes, meeting up with old friends and venturing into areas he had not yet seen. His cross-country odyssey lasted six-weeks taking him to Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Santa Fe, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Expecting to find a uniform society polluted by television and franchises, Codrescu discovers a varied country with great regional differences.

Having grown up in Communist Romania, Codrescu understands the unique freedom of expression that Americans are guaranteed by the First Amendment. The people featured in this film, like Codrescu himself, are able to live and flourish outside the "mainstream" of American culture. Ultimately, Road Scholar is a celebration of diversity, eccentricity, and multiculturalism.

At the end of the film, Codrescu reflects on the country he has traversed and the people he has met. It is, he says, a country of "hugely incompatible ingredients" which somehow, gratefully, manage to work together. "Very little, thank God, has actually melted in this vast melting pot."

Road Scholar was originally released in theaters across the country by the Samuel Goldwyn Company in 1993. Hyperion Press published a companion book, also entitled Road Scholar in October 1994. Road Scholar made its television debut in an hour long version on PBS March 23, 1995.
George Foster Peabody Award