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 »
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
'Adrian Roberts (V)' mentioned that the Burning Man organization (Black Rock Limited Liability Corporation) spends tens of thousands of dollars on the Burning Man wooden effigy. The actual budget in the recent years actually reached $200,000 for the figure and its pedestal. It has been a long time criticized spending, which diverts away funds that could be made available to artists. See more »
A stunning film which dissects the object but fails the subject
In an amazing and unequaled film which tries to encompass Burning Man as an event, movement, culture, and tangent off the zeitgeist, Bonin shows how a unique, complex entity emerges (in proper post-modern style) from elements of 20th century counter/culture blended together by individuals and groups whose quirks and flaws at times contradict and threaten the creation they engender.
Spanning 20 years featuring unequaled access to seminal figures and archival footage, at times funny and often dryly ironic, D&I engages and dissects the people and groups who gestated and cultivate the movement.
If the subject was a corporation or political movement, this film would be nearly perfect. But Burning Man is something else and the 'leaders', the history even, of the event is not the event. The map, as it were, is not the territory, and without addressing the territory the film ultimately fails to address the life, spirit, and meaning of the festival.
Perhaps Bonin's ennui issuing from too much exposure to the politics and drama of the (self-proclaimed?) core individuals narrowed his focus to convincingly and at times devastatingly slicing open and pinning the objects at the expense of the subject.
Ultimately a very worth-while watch for burners, the burner-curious, and anyone interested in issues of culture, community, social (d)evolution, arts and, yes, parties.
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