A new documentary aims for the heart of Burning Man, the annual festival held in the middle of the Nevada desert and dedicated to love, freedom, art and unbridled expressions of all of the above.
Told through the lenses of a ragtag group of 20-somethings--including a recent Harvard grad and a South African musician--As the Dust Settles explores the idea of participatory documentary making. Aside from detailing the ins and outs of one of the country's oldest, most eccentric celebrations, the film's five directors, who are also participants, are far from shy: They bare their souls--and bodies--for the camera as they get lost in the supposed power of Burning Man.
They dance, they sing, they fall in and out of love, and they interview an interesting cast of characters they meet throughout the week, including a couple who are getting married at the festival--never mind that they met only a few hours before.
By the end of the documentary, tens of thousands of people from all over the world prepare for the burning of the eponymous wooden figure.
"During the week, you have all of these experiences and they crack parts of you open," one the filmmakers, a Burning Man first-timer, explains. "The man burning is the image you had of yourself."