THE PINE BARRENS
DAVID SCOTT KESSLER | USA | 2019 | 104 MIN | NR
After countless years of fundraisers and preview screenings for his ambitious project, THE PINE BARRENS, local filmmaker David Kessler has finally completed (for now) his epic “tone-poem.” The film explores the expansive Pines as one of the last true mysteries in America’s terrain. Each exquisitely composed shot introduces visually eye-popping independent ecosystems that have remained untouched by the encroaching world of modern highways and sprawling duplexes. Thought to be completely uninhabitable (due, in no small part, to Jersey Devil lore), the Pine Barrens are nonetheless home to small communities who choose to live off the map. As these inhabitants share their stories by bonfire, Kessler captures the ruminations, both mundane and profound. But when the inevitable intrusion of a pipeline threatens their well-being, the communities must band together to uphold the legacy of such a special place. Featuring an equally eerie and beautiful score from local musicians The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, THE PINE BARRENS is a magical look into a world untouched.
Part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s NON/FICTION series.