Demolition Derby film honored by KC critics

Posted on Oct 16, 2013 in News

“Civil War on Wheels,” a demolition derby documentary film highlighted in Kansas Alumni magazine‘s most recent issue [“Border crashes,” Rock Chalk Review, p. 75], has been named “Best Local Documentary” by the Kansas City news and culture weekly The Pitch.

Filmed and produced by Patrick Sumner, c’97, g’05, in partnership with his brother, Brandon, and Lawrence filmmaker Chris Snipes, “Civil War on Wheels” had its genesis in the early 2000s, when the Sumner brothers were taking their camera out to document the newly forming Crossroads Arts District. That’s where they learned about a competitive demolition derby that had been formed by alumni and students from the Kansas City Art Institute, which led the Sumners into the high-octane derby culture playing out at county fairs on either side of the state line.

“Set to a muddy, chugging soundtrack of some of KC’s most beloved bands–Sin City Disciples, Split Lip Rayfield and Snuff Jazz–the film took us back to a time when summer pleasures were as simple as corn dogs, cold PBR and hot women in tube tops,” Pitch critics wrote in their Best Of review. “The doc also answered a lot of questions we had about the beginnings of the Crossroads Arts District. The only things missing? The smell of gas and mud splatters.”

To read the entire review, click here. More about “Civil War on Wheels” can be found at

–Chris Lazzarino

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