An experimental portrait examining whether a bucolic childhood exists in America.

Director’s Vision for ‘Life Without’

The idea of summing up my experience during the pandemic kept digging at me artistically, except I did not want to say anything overtly.

Yet one day, I realized that the last two years have been difficult for many, but what about the kids in our communities?

This led me to write a poem titled Life Without, which combined the idea of post-WWI “Lost Generation” writers with my current sentiment about what youth could potentially be missing today. After writing down the poem, the idea was to film with real kids in a rural town and examine whether a bucolic childhood existed in the current climate. The answer is to be seen and felt in the images, with the result here being an experimental portrait. I’m grateful for these kids who offered up their time, their town, and their identity – they’re intelligent, courageous, and talented. I hope we captured and created a lasting image of their presence and being.