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A Viewing of Hard Miles Touched the Hearts of the Greenwich Community

Matthew Modine speaks at the Arch Street screening of “Hard Miles”. Contributed photo

By Ellie Sileo

On Saturday, June 15th, the Arch Street Teen Center collaborated with the Town of Greenwich Youth Services Bureau and the Greenwich Active Transportation Task Force to host a free screening of Star Matthew Modine’s new film, “Hard Miles”. This event was accompanied by a bicycle demonstration, food trucks, an ice cream truck, and a live Q&A session with the star himself and attracted many viewers.

Matthow Modine is esteemed for his iconic starring roles in Stranger Things, Full Metal Jacket, Oppenheimer, and so much more. Last week, Greenwich was extremely grateful to experience a viewing of Hard Miles and a question and answer session to follow.

Matthew Modine has roots in Greenwich with his past of working in Glenville and returned to share and discuss Hard Miles with our town.

In a pre-screening interview with Star Matthew Modine, he began with a telling of the motives of the film: “One first of all never knows how a story you tell is going to land on the listener, but one hopes that a story like this fills them with hope and a sense of possibility.” Modine continues with the reflection that, “We’re living in a difficult time where there seems to be a lot of pessimism and fear and what I believe Hard Miles does upon viewing is give people a sense of hope and possibility that through hard work, determination, and working together as a group, you can accomplish a goal.”

As the heartfelt film takes its course, the young boys learn the “Peloton” method of cycling. Modine explains that “the Peloton, which means a small ball, is when you ride you’re drafting off the person in front of you and they’re blocking the wind so it makes it easier for you to pedal and then everyone has their turn in the front of the line.”

Modine shares that the Peloton method is meant to “inspire young people to remind them that in order to accomplish a goal you have to put in effort and work together as a group.”

Annie Murphy, a Greenwich High School graduate, responded to the film by saying that “The movie had a very accurate script. Although it was a feel-good inspiring movie, it still felt very real and resonated with the way kids really act today. Honestly, the story is applicable to anyone.”

In agreement with Murphy, Skylar Pickerstein, a rising Greenwich High School senior, said that “The message of Hard Miles is so powerful and as a current high school student, I can surely say it would be good for all kids and teens to watch this film and learn something from it.”

Paired with the theme of the film, Modine acknowledges that “boys seem to kind of lose their minds between ages 14 and 18, they make a lot of mistakes, they do and say things that are sometimes inappropriate, and what’s important is that we not give up on them.”

The entire community of Greenwich is responsible for supporting, understanding, and celebrating the children and young adults of our town. Modine shares the understanding that “It’s something that you have to go through and parents know that, police officers know that, the justice system knows that and so we just mustn’t give up on them.”

Fred Camillo, First Selectman of Greenwich, also weighed in during the post-screening Q&A to share an important message to “Care, follow through, and keep going.” This message is extremely important to support any member of the Greenwich community, especially the young adults.

Not only does Modine hope that young people will be inspired but he also recognizes “the social workers that work so hard to help young people get through those difficult moments in their lives. It’s inspiring for them because it’s a celebration of them and their work that sometimes goes unnoticed and oftentimes unappreciated. I hope the film is an inspiration for those people as well.”

Modine’s starring role in Hard Miles, Greg Townsend, has a line in the film that says “What overcomes hard luck is hard work.” This resonates with the message of the film with hope that young members of the community will keep this in mind in their future endeavors.

Throughout the viewing of the film, the boys fall in love with the adventure and the reward from biking and the viewers fall in love with seeing their growth. The power and accuracy of this film is unmatched.

As the Greenwich community, it is crucial to remember Modine’s wise words from his visit that “We mustn’t ever give up on the children.”

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