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Dust & Illusions (2009)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  28 March 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 11 user

Once a year, on a vast Nevada lake bed surrounded by mountains and for the past 20 years, the Burning Man festival brings together tens of thousands of people who are attracted by the ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry James ...
Burning Man Co-Founder / Carpenter
Larry Harvey ...
Burning Man Co-Founder and Executive Director
John Law ...
Burning Man Co-Founder / Cacophonist
Michael Mikel ...
Burning Man Co-Founder and Director
Michael Hopkins ...
Kevin Evans ...
William Binzen ...
Artist / Photographer
Charlie Gadeken ...
Artist / Boxshop Artists Studios' Director
Pepe Ozan ...
Artist / Sculptor
Chicken John ...
Event Promoter
Adrian Roberts ...
Newspaper Editor / Piss Clear Editor
Marian Goodell ...
Burning Man Communication and Finance Director
Rebecca Randers ...
Artist / Flaming Lotus Girls
James Stauffer ...
Writer / Flaming Lotus Girls
Jim Mason ...
Artist / Shipyard Artists Studios' Director


Once a year, on a vast Nevada lake bed surrounded by mountains and for the past 20 years, the Burning Man festival brings together tens of thousands of people who are attracted by the festival's promise of seven days of de-commodification, community, artwork, and revelry. But increasingly, many question whether Burning Man's mainstream appeal threatens - or even upends - the festival's utopian vision. Through a series of in-depth interviews of the festival's founders, organizers, and participants, DUST & ILLUSIONS traces the festival's history, while examining whether the festival is a victim of its own success. The documentary also offers a new perspective about the event, and looks at our ability as human beings to create new forms of community in the 1st century. Written by Madnomad Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


30 years of history of the Burning Man festival from its origins in the late 1970s until today




Not Rated


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Release Date:

28 March 2009 (USA)  »

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Box Office


$163,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


With regards to Paul Addis case the Burning Man organization (Black Rock Limited Liability Corporation) received a subpoena from the Nevada court, asking them to produce all the bills related to the reconstruction of the wooden effigy (aka the Burning Man). See more »

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User Reviews

Informative and Evocative
19 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having entered the Burning Man scene right at the turn of the century (my first burn was 1999), I found myself confronted by a very large, multifaceted event which, I had to admit to myself, I knew very little about. By that time the window had become quite opaque to most new-comers wishing to learn more about the behind-the-scenes history, politics, and management of Burning Man. Other than public Internet sources, all of my perspective came from bits and pieces of hear-say gleaned from folk-lore and tales recited by other burners. "Dust and Illusions" filled in much of the background missing from my over-all perspective of Burning Man. Most of all I appreciate the interview with Larry Harvey, where he explains that Burning Man has evolved in the direction of promoting the establishment of cultural community. Furthermore, I think Larry quite correct in saying that destruction and deconstruction of community resides at the heart of present-day America social-political trends. Simply put: the totalitarian "statist" fears community above all else. Individual people can be individually managed, but autonomous communities are much harder to manage - just ask Larry Harvey.

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