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Streaming video

Title Where the trail meets the sky / directed by James Monahan
Published Los Angeles, CA : University of Southern California, 2011


Description 1 online resource (32 min.)
Summary Where the Trail Meets the Sky is an ethnographic film about the lives and labor of professional horsepackers in the Pacific Northwest. Horsepackers most often work in federally designated wilderness areas where they lead horse and mule supply trains into backcountry areas. Horsepackers lead these pack-trains for the purpose of supplying trail crews, assisting wildland fire fighters, and to outfit tourists and hunters in the backcountry. Some of the film's subjects have experience working within the institutional setting of the U.S. Forest Service but most work as private contractors for federal land management agencies. The film's primary focus is on the labor performed by horsepackers and the meanings and values packers ascribe to their work. Many of these values are expressed in the film through performances of cowboy poetry and song. With regard to their labor the packers in the film do not make a distinction between work and leisure. In contrast to the alienation experienced by many workers, the horsepackers in the film reflect the experience of those who see their labor as inseparable from their lifestyle and identity. Through coverage of a horsepacking convention and more personalized interviews, the film attempts to bridge the gap between a generalizable experience and the inter-subjective experience of individual packers. The film attempts to move between the macro and the micro by combining the inquisitive distance of observational cinema with the intimacy of formal and informal interviews. While most of the film focuses on the experience of five individuals, it speaks to larger concerns within the horsepacking community such as wilderness values, environmental ethics, history, and tradition, and generational shifts in attitudes and behaviors. The film also contains several reflexive moments that are meant to highlight my own experience in making a film about a community I initially knew little about
Notes Title from resource description page (viewed April 26, 2018)
In English
Subject Horsemen and horsewomen -- Northwest, Pacific
Horses -- Northwest, Pacific
Pack animals (Transportation) -- Northwest, Pacific
Horsemen and horsewomen.
Pack animals (Transportation)
SUBJECT Northwest, Pacific.
Subject Pacific Northwest.
Genre/Form Documentary films.
Ethnographic films.
Documentary films.
Ethnographic films.
Films ethnographiques.
Form Streaming video
Author Monahan, James, director
Center for Visual Anthropology, production company.