A film by Justin Zimmerman.
1852, intercollegiate competition began between two novice rowing
teams at New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. This race, corporately
sponsored by a railroad company, brought together Harvard and Yale
for spirited, if quite slow, competition. These rowers would find
themselves caught in a fiercer struggle in the Civil War, where
over a half of the young men served as officers, and two men died
wearing opposing Union and Confederate uniforms.
The Calling cross-cuts these historical revelations with the modern
sport of crew. Rowing, which began the modern sports industrial
complex, is shunned by television, ignored by corporate sponsors
and virtually unknown to modern sport fans. Rowing is now the ultimate
amateur sport – without recognition, an individual participates
because he or she loves the challenge, not the reward.
The Calling is a highly visual exploration into our sports, our
culture and our history.