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Introduction

Teaser Trailer

Introduction

Recently, a Yale university study suggested that the people of Emery County, a large but very sparsely populated region of South East Utah, had amongst the least belief in human-caused climate change in the USA. 

For someone who believes that climate change is a real and serious problem, it can be easy to angrily dismiss the residents here as uneducated, conspiratorial, or anti-science. But over the course of one hot summer, through intimate time spent with the locals, a much more complicated reality reveals itself.

 

In this documentary essay, we dive deeply into both the content of people’s beliefs here, and the context in which these beliefs have formed. We examine everything from trust in the media to religious Armageddon. We did this by conducting extensive interviews with locals, and also by spending time with them during daily moments at work, play, worship, and community. We discover that although the residents of this coal and cattle-producing region might have ways of life and beliefs which vastly differ to those of big city urbanites, there are also similarities, in their fears of change, frustrations with many aspects of modern life and hopes for the future. 

We’re calling this a documentary essay largely because of it’s structure. It is broken up into 26 chapters, each between 3 and 10 minutes long. For the most part, each chapter includes some interview conversation, usually about a specific topic, and a scene or some moments which might be unrelated to the topic, but which help paint a picture of what life is about in this small, full county of churches, power plants, cattle drives, and community theater productions. Each chapter will include a paragraph or two of written text as well.

Wherever you are on the political and ideological spectrum, we know that there will be parts of these conversations which anger or frustrate you. We ask only that you try to remember that everyone holds their belief with the same strength you hold yours, and that in the huge web beliefs we each hold, the chance that any of us is completely right about all of them is basically zero. Try practice the art of listening generously.

Chapters will be released every 2 weeks, over the course of one year.  When a new chapter is released, it will be free to watch for two weeks. In order to support the production, for those who miss an episode, or would like to rewatch episodes, or watch several at their own chosen pace, we’re going to charge $5 for full access for the entire year’s content, regardless of whether you buy it to view chapter 1 or chapter 14. After this release, we are also planning to combine the chapters to create a feature length film.

We set out to make this project because we believe that a big step to a happier world is learning to communicate with people who might disagree with us. We believe a generous interview is a fun and respectful way to facilitate this, giving people the time and space to share their stories, express their concerns, and reveal their personality. We hope you enjoy this project as much as we have enjoyed developing it. Tell your friends.

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