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By Phil Hall | October 16, 2013

Nonfiction filmmaker Paul Turano turns his camera on his family’s backyard for a short cinematic essay on what he has described as a “small instance of collateral damage from the recent financial crisis.”

Turano’s parents, who live in rural southeastern Connecticut, were forced by the precarious state of their finances to sell off 40 acres of their land. The land in question was home to hardwood trees, many of them more than 70 years old. Turano’s father speaks about the environmental repercussions of the decision, which was clearly not made lightly.

Turano does not show the actual destruction of the trees, although the soundtrack buzz of a hungry chainsaw permeates the film. Instead, the film provides a complex mediation on the balance between nature and personal survival. There are no quick and easy answers to be found, and this production offers a rueful consideration of the pain that accompanies a difficult sacrifice.

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