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DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | 80 MIN | 2010

AMERICAN MYSTIC

Set against a vivid backdrop of bucolic rural landscapes, American Mystic weaves together the stories of three young Americans exploring alternative religion. Chuck is a Native American sundancer and new father striving to balance his religious practice and family responsibilities in the South Dakota badlands; Morpheus is a pagan priestess who finds spirituality in the earthy terrain of California mining country; and Kublai explores Spiritualism in upstate New York, a modern incarnation of the area's storied history of religious revivalism.

Alex Mar's meditative documentary artfully sews together its subjects' introspections with the landscapes of their quintessentially American districts. Their reflections are intercut with their work on the farm, drives along deserted highway, and hikes through mountain vistas. Gently applying these tropes of Americana to her story of fringe communities, Mar crafts a poetic tapestry of religious plurality, serving as a complement to prevalent depictions of religious America as homogenous and Christian. Chuck, Morpheus, and Kublai pursue religious insight in disparate, exceptional ways, but are united in a uniquely American vision of transcendence.

Film Information
Year: 2010
Length: 80 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA
Premiere: World
Cast & Credits
Director: Alex Mar
Producer: Nicholas Shumaker, Alex Mar
Editor: Andy Grieve
Director of Photography: Gregory Mitnick
Executive Producer: Jack Turner, Cathy Unruh
Press Contacts
About the Director(s)
Alex Mar graduated from Harvard University with a background in journalism, production, and video art. She worked as a producer for MTV News and an editor for Rolling Stone before cofounding Empire 8 Productions in 2008. American Mystic is her feature debut.

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