STORY

Shenandoah, is for me, a coming home story. For the last thirty-five years I have used my camera around the world to photograph my conviction that human dignity is what we share.   I went to the coal region of Pennsylvania with the intention of portraying a contemporary American working class community, with a spirited and tough heritage forged by immigrants and the sweat of their labor, at a time when work is scarce, and peoples’ backs are up against the wall.   I learned that four of the town’s star high school football players had just been charged with the beating death of Luis Ramirez, an undocumented Mexican immigrant also living in the town. I felt that fate had directed me to this town, to once again – this time in my own country – try to understand why good people can hate, and whether they have the potential to change. I am interested in the universal human tension between the value placed on forming alliances, and the risk, that this, if not carefully understood, can lead to exclusion and even hate. A feature length documentary four years in the making, I am proud to present the story of Shenandoah, and the American Dream on trial.