The Pine Barrens

a documentary by David Scott Kessler


Press Inquirer

Magic in the pines

Years in the making, Philly filmmaker David Kessler’s documentary on New Jersey’s wilderness is a tone poem for a place unlike anywhere else.

By Jason Nark
Video used with permission by David Kessler


WHYY Friday Arts

David Scott Kessler: The Pine Barrens
Producer: Michael O’Reilly

Filmmaker David Scott Kessler has been working on his evolving documentary, “The Pine Barrens”, for half of a decade. Before he began the work, he had never visited the Pine Barrens proper. Guiding the viewer through the Pinelands’ winding, rust-colored rivers, its dark forests and slowly developing towns, the documentary creates a contemplative and complex portrait of a place. Through a haze of tall-tales around campfires, encounters with “Pineys” punctuate a landscape removed from contemporary experiences of reality. With the Pinelands as its primary character, the film explores the symbiotic yet sometimes destructive relationship between man and nature. Aiming beyond journalism, The Pine Barrens is a meditation on Nature and Place and their roles in the formation of identity through impressions and artistically interpreted moments; instances best experienced through a veil of wonder and left largely unexplained.


Feature 3

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