For all that big emotion, the film is also fleet and light, interested in everyday train problems — of course a little boy loses his shoes — and life on the plains. The oil boom has remade Dakota life, and we meet many young men working in that business, usually far away from family or lovers.
One lays out his plan to work seven hard years and then be "set for life," a phrase none of the older people would use. They know that all of us are forever in a process of becoming, and that time out from your current everyday -- time in transit -- can be a gift, whether you're barrelling toward a fixed destination or not. One woman says, heartbreakingly, "I'm transitioning in my marriage," and she would prefer not to leave the train at all. Once she's off these rails, she has to make some hard choices. The film was shot in 2013 and '14, so nobody mentions Trump. It's 76 minutes of Americans at the best and kindest. It's a vacation.