"Roll With Me": A recovering addict crosses America in a wheelchair


Recovering addict and paraplegic Gabriel Cordell tells SalonTV’s D. Watkins about his momentous trip to become the first person to roll an unmodified wheelchair across America. The 3,100-mile trip from California to New York was captured on film and is part of the new documentary “Roll With Me,” available now on Netflix.

“For me, the force of the addiction was so strong, it was like a suction and I needed to find a greater force that was going to suck me out of the vortex of addiction and that’s why I decided to roll,” Cordell said on “Salon Talks.” “Some people say you can’t change one extreme to another, or go from one addiction to another, and I say if it’s healthy and productive and gives you purpose than why not?”

“Roll With Me,” directed by Lisa France, is part of Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing, a distribution collective dedicated to the inclusion of films directed by women and people of color. It was an official selection of the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival and winner at the Woodstock Film Festival and Milan International Film Festival.

Watch the episode above to hear about some of the wild things Cordell and his crew saw on the road and why he believes his journey helped others.


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About “Salon Talks”: Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on YouTube and Salon.com.

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