Rising documentary filmmaker Barbara Bustillo-Cogswell rides high on the hog

"Because now he actually sees it and feels it a little bit in the pocketbook," she continues with a laugh, "as well as just being totally tired of carrying the camera all day."

Cogswell is drinking a light beer from a can secured in a foam holder. He doesn't seem to mind that after four years into the project and hundreds of hours of footage shot, his wife still has no official financial backing and little means to offset production costs, other than what he earns as a Tempe city employee or what she can as a nanny. He just shrugs his shoulders and says, "I'm not worried. It'll all come together. I believe in my wife."

Here is a guy who defines biker by simply being free. He just doesn't get why some people don't want him to enjoy that. He genuinely doesn't understand the collision of cultures that being a biker oftentimes inspires.

The mild one: Biker documentarian Barbara Bustillo-Cogswell.
Paolo Vescia
The mild one: Biker documentarian Barbara Bustillo-Cogswell.

But to some, the idea of a biker is about as counterculture as a Starbucks coffee house is now. In the '50s, coffee houses were a bastion of counterculture, too, in ways illustrated by the rejection of commercialism and materialism. It's kind of like Brando as the biker rebel in The Wild One. And that's what Barbara Bustillo-Cogswell is thinking.

"If I have learned anything from shooting this documentary," she says, "it is to not make judgments on first impressions in terms of my own stereotypes. And I think what I am learning is to be a little more open to people, by what they look like and who they walk with."

Contact Brian Smith at his online address:

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