Shot on free locations with actors drawn from Sayles' Eastern Slope Playhouse, the film is an affectionately observed ensemble drama that deals with the annual reunion of several college friends. Formerly hound by the shared moral and political activism of 1960's campus life the group have all chosen different paths since graduation but, despite the shifts in time and the changing nature of their relationships, remain linked by a shared experience and common humanity. Displaying a rare willingness to focus on the concerns of the thirty-something generation whose values were all but dismissed by Reagan-era America, the film's bittersweet acuity arises from Sayles' intelligent, ironic dialogue and avoidance of sentimentality. Made pre-Sundance, it was screened at various American festivals before being commercially released in a grass roots fashion. A critical and commercial success, the film revitalised the American independent film and established Sayles as an urgent, political voice.