A two-year project, " Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa" is a 64-minute documentary that looks at a small, hardscrabble community in the New Mexico desert of denizens who have chosen a life of independence outside the normal conformities and boundaries of modern society.
It's a study of the runaways, vets and voluntary outcasts who live there and what happens when a community removes itself from mainstream civilization. Rather than becoming uncivilized, instead it enforces its own sense of law and order, right and wrong. When confronted with a thief in their midst, the well-armed and opinionated citizenry must grapple with instilling ad-hoc law and order in which justice is served while humanity is preserved.
"Off the Grid" premiered at the Slamdance FIlm Festival in January and has been touring the festival circuit since. Shooting began in 2005 and is principally the creation of filmmakers Eric Juhola and Randy and Jeremy Stulberg. A DVD should be available soon. In the meantime, watch the 2:24 trailer or catch the NY premiere at Lincoln Center this Thursday, 16 August 2006, or next week as part of Slamdance's run of docs at the IFC on 21 August 2007.