“OFF THE GRID”
Nominated as one of the “Best Films Not Playing at a Theater Near You” at last year’s Gotham Awards, Jeremy & Randy Stulberg’s Off The Grid: Life on the Mesa examines a group of people who have given up the amenities we all take for granted to live an existence that includes little food, water and no electricity.
In the middle of the barren prairies of New Mexico, a small community of war vets, hippies and runaways live “off the grid” in what they believe is the last strand of the American Dream, but the Stulbergs find it more often resembles the Wild West. After getting over the sensationalism of these people’s lives the directors delve into the society they have created with elders settling disputes and Marshall law deciding the rest (one resident puts it bluntly: “We don’t dial 911, we dial 357… 357 Magnum.”). Residents trade stories of being harassed by cops, or giving the reasons why they’re living there, and though halfway through the film you’re just thankful you have running water and an AC to help cool down, by its finale it changes to a respect for these people who are capable to live off the land and want nothing in return but to be left alone.
Disc includes deleted scenes, interviews with the film’s subjects and director commentary. DVD is available through Indiepix for $24.95.