There’s an explosion of underground rappers releasing their music on SoundCloud, some of which are gaining a global audience. It is with this understanding, as a number of her high school buddies have found relative success there, that writer/director Marnie Ellen Hertzler built her part-narrative, part-documentary, part video art project called Crestone. The film is shot over an 8-day period in the Colorado desert, outside the tiny town of Crestone, population 143, with Hertzler’s high school friends as subjects. She uses voiceover narration throughout the film, but one of the first things she says is, “The movie is a love letter. This movie is about the end of the world.” It’s also about weed, lots of weed, and the search for identity that sometimes goes undiscovered. It questions, “what is reality and what is fiction?” That sometimes goes beyond what is manipulated by a filmmaker, and goes unanswered, even when asked by the subjects themselves.

Anti-consumerist young men, mostly in their 20s, converge in the desert near Crestone, Colorado, to fashion a ramshackle home in which they create music, performed for each other and various social media sites, grow and smoke a lot of weed, and eat what appears to be almost exclusively bologna. 

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