Cutting It Down

“I don’t know. To me, a good education is definitely a balance of digging ditches– literally– and digging into your intellectual capacities, your potential.”

When kids have burnt every other bridge, they end up at a community school. What happens to their teachers? This short documentary follows one teacher on his last day after he walks out the door.

I co-directed and co-edited this short film with Jose Garcia when we were both students at the Maine Media Workshops in late 2004. I had met Mike, the film’s subject, at the local pub a few weeks earlier. We talked about Wendell Berry and a student of his who’d been caught fooling around with homemade explosives. This teaching job can wear you down. A few weeks later, Jose, our sound man Josh Cooper, and I followed Mike around for a day while asking questions now and then. Four and a half hours of footage became this documentary.

2004, NTSC DV, 8:33. Produced by Maria Gambale and Chandler Griffin for the Maine Media Workshops.