USA, 2011, 105 min
It is too rare a thing that we mark the occasion of a new film by Christopher Munch. One of the true auteurs of independent cinema, Munch’s style is consistently beautiful and strange in its earnestness, an attribute that sets his work in stark contrast to a steady stream of ironic and wry looks at popular culture. And given a story about the deepening relationship between a young woman and a sasquatch, earnestness itself now becomes a central tension. What does it mean for a film to embark on an exploration of Bigfoot without irony, without winks, completely in good faith? What can we learn from this? We follow Sarah, an artist and hydrologist, as she surveys the old growth forests of the Klamath wilderness (captured majestically by cinematographer Rob Sweeney) for the Oregon forest service. She is embroiled in a number of intrigues: the politics of deforestation, a break up, a burgeoning love, metaphysical communication with a missing link. Viewers expecting a campy romp through cryptozoology will come away puzzled, and the better for it. In fact, the film doesn’t even begin to address the gulf of doubt that surrounds its premise. Instead, it focuses on the deep, ancient and spiritual beauty of a region and “people” unaffected by the last ice age, and what we might gain by their example.
Presented in association with Green Festival.