The best car films are often the ones that aren’t made by car people explicitly for other car people. In 2005 Dust To Glory brought Baja racing to the world, and now the follow-up Dust 2 Glory is bringing it to a new generation.
Dust 2 Glory is a car movie, kind of, but it’s produced in a way that can pull anyone in. It’s about people, and it’s distinctive.
The film is the product of a second-generation surf filmmaker Dana Brown, who’s risen to almost legendary status in the off-road racing world on the merits of his first film, even though he’s made more movies about surfing than Baja racing. Brown is the son of the late Bruce Brown who’s often credited with making surfing mainstream with his documentary I’m sure you’ve seen the posters of:- The Endless Summer.
Dust 2 Glory isn’t so much a sequel as a... continuation. It’s another look at the same event, but it’s focused on new people and their struggles.
As Brown said in a post-filming interview that was shown at the premier: “You could make one of these every year, because the stories are always different.”
Dust 2 Glory keeps the chill west coast vibe going but goes just a bit deeper into the wider world of Baja racing—even putting Brown in the co-driver’s seat of a Class 11 mostly-stock air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle for the start of the Baja 1000. This time, the film shows the entire entire SCORE off-road racing season, which ends with the flagship Baja 1000 race.
It’s hard not to want to drop everything and start browsing desert trucks for sale after Dust 2 Glory reintroduces you to welcoming spirit of Baja, which can suck you right into a team just like it did Brown. Some whole families come together to race a car. Others, such as the rider who iron-man’ed the entire race, meaning he did the whole thing solo, seem to be adopted by the wider Baja racing “family” of friends and fans that live for desert racing in Mexico.
What the original Dust to Glory did for Class 11 Beetles—attracting a mass of crazies to attempt to conquer Baja in a mostly stock Bug—Dust 2 Glory may do for ironman motorcycle racers. There’s still plenty of Class 11 action in this one, but the ironman riders who attempt to do the whole race themselves are the new impossible task to marvel at.
Like the first Dust To Glory film from twelve years earlier, Dust 2 Glory focuses in on some of the fascinating, beautiful and occasionally heartbreaking individual stories that unfold during the SCORE season. The “Bochito” Class 11 Bug brings joy to a home for abused women and children where it lives for most of the year.
You’ll get to see how the pros handle the race, how amateurs keep up, and what it’s like for somebody who’s been trying to win for decades finally take home a trophy.
Another team consists entirely of wounded combat vets. One pair of young Baja locals spent the season hoping to convince their dad to fund their first first Trophy Truck.
You know, as if Baja isn’t an impossible task in its own right. Teams battle through sickness, injury, breakdowns and tragedy just to make it to the end of the course—even if they’ve taken too long to qualify as a finisher. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Dust 2 Glory is a worthy follow-up to the original, as few other films seem to nail all of the agony and triumph of going racing quite as well.
Dust 2 Glory debuted last week in a few theaters around the U.S. and we’ll have to wait a little bit longer before it’s available on DVD or online. But expect it soon, and whether you’ve been following Baja racing for years or are just hearing about it for the first time here, this movie will suck you in.