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East of Eden | “Best in Cinematography” Award Winner (Buffer Festival 2017)

A new study finds that cultural divisions between Americans are at an all time high. And social media is fueling the problem. As cities grow closer, some say rural communities are pulling away. Americans today are like siblings that haven’t talked to each other in years. The question is: how do we bridge that divide? How do we learn to talk to each other again? Be a family again? Hello? Hey, little brother…it’s been awhile. How’s the beach life? You know me, man. Just doin’ my thing. I was thinking…… You got plans this weekend? What do you have in mind? In America, our heros take a different path. We don’t do Cinderella stories about country folk in the big city. We travel in the opposite direction towards the source. Maybe it’s in our blood…. All of us pioneers at heart. But maybe it’s these wide open spaces that beckon us to wonder. Whatever it is, it’s undeniable… the magnetic pull tempting us beyond the mountains of our minds. The Golden State is a land of dreams built on shifting desert sands. A coastal Eden addicted to the fickle trickle of snowmelt from the mountains most never see. Without water it’s just a mirage. A ghost town in the making, like so many skeletal settlements where the rivers of fortune changed course, and the desert devours the vain creations of man. California is a state built on fault lines in a country where the fault lines are all too clear. Once in a blue moon the tension rises until something breaks. Denial… it’s a tempting escape. But history has a way of repeating itself, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s what pulls us out here. Perspective. Because some things are clearer from farther away. And as we lose cell service, we discover a more ancient, purer form of connection. America doesn’t have a Sistine Chapel. These are our sacred places. Monuments sculpted from wind, water, and time. Long after the gold plated towers of our cities have crumbled into the sea, these places will remain. So generation after generation we set off on a pilgrimage to surrender ourselves before nature; define truths only heard atop lonely peaks and wash our spirits clean. Eventually, we all must come down from the mountain. But as the naturalist John Muir once said, ” Going to the mountains is going home.” So in a time when many of us don’t see eye to eye, maybe we’d all do well to heed mother nature’s call and take a bit of her timeless wisdom with us back home.


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