Minnesota to Moscow on a Sled

May 9, 2013 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Written by Director’s Cut guest host Pete Schwaba, a film writer, director (and occasional stand-up comic) whose credits include “The Godfather of Green Bay.”

Directors-Cut-LogoThis week on Director’s Cut, I sit down with Mike Scholtz, the Director of “Wild Bill’s Run.” This is a great little documentary about Wild Bill Cooper, a bar owner who somehow talked several of his friends into attempting to snowmobile from Minnesota to Moscow during the height of the Cold War. After watching this film, which tells such an outlandish and improbable story, I couldn’t believe I had never heard of Bill Cooper.

Scholtz does a great job telling this story and mixing his own footage with actual film clips from Wild Bill and company’s trip through the Arctic. The story, which is told through some great interviews with the actual trekkers, unfolds as an actual tall tale the more the viewer learns. Just when you think the story about the snowmobile riders can’t possibly be true, Bill’s story takes an even more outrageous turn. You can’t make this stuff up! Great fun.

Mike Scholtz is a bit of a character himself and in some ways just as offbeat and quirky as the characters that ran with Bill Cooper’s crew.  Mike’s day job is in healthcare marketing. He makes documentaries on the side and also runs a rural film festival out of a barn. It’s very possible that one day someone will make a doc about Mike. My favorite question for him was “How on earth do you even find a story like this and then how do you not make a film of it!?”

Wild Bill’s Run can be summed up by the following: life saving Eskimos, ferocious polar bears, survival in the frigid Arctic. And that’s not even the whole tip of the iceberg. Oh yeah, and maybe there’s an Iceberg in the film, too. This is one not to miss and I hope you can tune in for the film, following my interview with Mike Scholtz at 10 p.m. Friday, May 10.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *