Volume 22, Number 50 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 23 - 29, 2010
Delving into ‘American Mystic’
BY TRAV S.D.
A third local film-maker in this year’s Tribeca Film festival is Alex Mar, director and producer of “American Mystic”. Manhattan native Mar’s background is in journalism, with stints as a writer and editor at New York magazine and Rolling Stone, and a producer at MTV News. Her feature film debut is a documentary about the lives of spiritual seekers, each following a path distinctly outside the American mainstream, and choosing to live in rural environments.
After meeting with different sorts of believers all over the country from snake-handlers to Wiccans, Mar decided to focus on the stories of just three. Kublai is a farmhand and spiritualist in depressed upstate New York, long the nation’s cradle of séances and mediums. Chuck is Lakota Sioux sundancer in the badlands of South Dakota striving to strike a balance between the demands of his religious practice and raising a family.
Morpheus is a pagan priestess living off the grid in the southern California desert, where she and her coven are building a “witches sanctuary”.
The film professes to be apolitical, and Mar says as a filmmaker she “refuses to pass judgment on people’s spiritual beliefs”, an objectivity that may make her film almost as unique as her subjects.
For a full information on where and when to see “American Mystic” and the other films in the Tribeca Film festival, go to http://www.tribecafilm.com/festival.