the sound of one hand clapping

The films of Baltimore-based interdisciplinary artist Marnie Ellen Hertzler tend to explore topics such as interpersonal relationships and the technology that defines each and everyone of us - and her latest non-fiction extravaganza is no exception from this rule. In “Crestone“ she follows a handful of SoundCloud rappers with rather outlandish monikers like Champloo Sloppy, Sadboytrapps or Benz Rowm - a few of them actually former high school friends of the director - which consciously turned their back on civic life in favor of celebrating a kind of post-societal existence in the titular Colorado desert town that once was a spiritual hotspot for many. They grow their own weed, shower themselves in a nearby waterfall, sit together for extended sessions of homemade tattoos, and occasionally make music. It’s a fascinating case of living an exaggerated reality that combines authenticity with social media performance until the limitations of both worlds appear to be not only blurred but are actually becoming obsolete.

“Crestone“ had its premiere at SXSW last year and is now available on various VOD platforms. It features a killer score by Animal Collective’s Geologist and Deakin.



Crestone / documentary / directed by Marnie Ellen Hertzler / USA 2020 / 1h 13min
Soundtrack out on Domino Records /
words: Forty