Sherman’s March

Director: Ross McElwee

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


Sherman’s March has been called “a search for love.” Filmmaker Ross McElwee sets out to retrace Sherman’s march through the South 100 years ago. Along the way he severely sidetracked and the result is a great deal of low-key hilarity: McElwee with the actress Pat whose goal in life is to encounter Burt Reynolds; McElwee with Claudia, the interior designer cum survivalist; McElwee on an abandoned island with linguist Wini; McElwee and old friend Charleen, who mismatches him with a Mormon folksinger. The filmmaker has been compared to Woody Allen for his obsession with woman-as-source-of-happiness and his innocent resolve to have them love him as much as he loves them.

Sherman’s March is notable for coming so close to the edge without falling in. Happily for us, Sherman’s March develops into a very funny self-portrait by letting loose McElwee’s highly developed sense of humor and irony on his favorite whiping boy: himself. Sherman’s March is a tremendously original work, and, in fact, may be the first overtly subjective documentary of its kind.

— Karen Cooper

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards


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