Directed by Nick Brandestini | SWITZERLAND | 2010 | 87min | (Q&A)
Darwin, California, appears to be a cross between the Wild West and a futuristic post-apocalyptic world. The 35 residents of the former mining town, named after the 19th century physician, poet, and prospector Dr. Erasmus Darwin French, are an eclectic mash-up of all types of people who have grown weary of the trappings of the outside world. Director/producer Nick Brandestini examines the lives of this dying town’s compelling residents—like Hank and Connie Jones, a couple who run the public library inside an abandoned Airstream trailer, Susan Pimentel, an outspoken woman who runs the local post office and is the only employed person in town, and Michael Laemmle, a decidedly non-Hollywood type whose family founded Universal Pictures. Brandestini’s in-depth look at what happens to people who live along the margins of expected society can be seen as a case study of the world at large and in the process may further blur the lines of what constitutes normalcy. This is the fourth documentary from award-winning director Nick Brandestini. - Betsy Cramer
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