We know from Telluride that every small town has its own quirky characters, but few places could boast the cast of oddballs, misfits and strange birds that populate Darwin, California (named after Dr. Darwin French, a 19th century adventurer). Situated near Death Valley, there is no church, school or town government, so with its desolate location and population of 43, Darwin draws residents who want to get away from society. They all have their reasons for reclusiveness, yet they still allow director Nick Brandestini into their strange, yet compelling, world. The result is an elegiac and haunting story about the town that incorporates its boomtown mining history, the mysterious nearby military base where secret weapons are tested, and the townspeople who’ve chosen to live life on their own terms.
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