For years, I've had occasional fantasies about joining one of the Austin all-female roller derby leagues. All the women I've met who do roller derby are cool, and it sounded like fun in a twisted kind of way, like the time a friend of mine told me about a study where women went through firefighter training (I was too late to join, sadly) or triathlon training (I did two Danskins) or another friend who used to play rugby but grew tired of sustaining injuries.
For a brief and shining moment, Hell on Wheels fanned the flames of my roller derby chick fantasies. On the surface, the documentary is about roller derby in Austin, and begins with a brief history of roller derby in an amusing newsreel format (I loved the flying skate). However, the events that occurred during the five years when director Bob Ray followed around the Austin roller derby founders and skaters turned the movie into something a little larger -- it's about women trying to find the best ways to run a business.