Impact | VIFF Impact
What we run away from, they run towards - that’s the spirit of a firefighter. Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson take us from training grounds to proving grounds in their study of one of the world’s most dangerous professions. In Grants Pass, Oregon, Grayback Forestry has put out a call for new recruits; this documentary takes us through the arduous training process and then follows the hires into their first rounds of duty, which climax with a battle against a wildfire in northern California.
Besides the recruits, we meet crew bosses, trainers, and more, and what these folks have in common is the power to endure. One can see courage shining through each distinctive personality; the hardened ex-cons, adventure-seeking twentysomethings, and wise old pros of Wildland make for a motley bunch, and the filmmakers do them all proud. Toughminded but lyrical, the movie evinces both an awe of nature and an esteem for those who guard us from it.
"Find[s] in the trials of these young firefighters… classic narrative elements to which the filmmakers bring their own ability to craft astonishing visuals." - Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
Preceded By: Forest on FireDirector: Reed Harkness / USA, 2019, 30 min.
In 2017, a teen tossed a lit firecracker into the Columbia River Gorge. As a result, nearly half of 49,000 acres of forest were engulfed in a mosaic of apocalyptic flames. Reed Harkness delivers an urgently topical, empathetic doc. more...