Crowdsourcing Mornings Stuff

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Cisco Kid Documentary

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

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A lyrical and haunting portrait of the contemporary American West, Cisco Kid is a vérité documentary about a young queer person who moves to a desert ghost town in southern Utah.

Originally a pit-stop for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, and then for drivers traversing a former thoroughfare, Cisco was all but abandoned after the construction of an interstate highway. Almost half a century later, Eileen (they/them), a working class queer from Chicago, feels called by the town.

The film opens with patient, wide frames of trains passing, a defunct gas station and post office, fallen down cabins, and discarded vehicles. The landscape extends until the eye meets red rock cliffs and snow-capped mountains in the distance. Eileen is living in an Airstream trailer, still full with vestiges of Ernie, the previous tenant, who lived in Cisco until he died.

Steeped in the artifacts and lingering dreams of the people who came before, Eileen sifts through the dilapidated structures, unearthing letters and other relics of a time that once was. The story of Cisco’s past is unveiled elliptically as Eileen completes one project after the next. They begin to rebuild the tumbleweed collection of one room cabins with found and reclaimed materials, while reckoning with unpredictable elements, and a past that feels ever present.

We get to know Eileen through objects and anecdotes: the memorabilia they collect; the music they play; a voicemail they leave for their mother. They meet friends at the river to escape the heat, catch up with a truck driver, evade questions from curious tourists. The visitors offer an unexpected glimpse of people living and traveling in the western United States.

Seasons pass and progress feels hard won. Entropy is at once Eileen’s enemy and ally. The harshness of the high desert allows for solitude. They spend days building a wall made of tires and barbed wire. In the evening they smoke, soaking in an old oil drum, filled with water from a well they have cleared of branches.

Cisco Kid is at once a portrait of a place that has been left behind, and a person who has walked away from mainstream society. Set against the vast and startling tableau of the Utah desert, Cisco Kid is a meditation on making a life from what you can imagine. The magnitude of the plain and the red rock allows Eileen, and the viewer, to live in the smallness of being a human, while in conversation with the immensity of an enduring and ever changing world.

As of July 2nd, this project has raised $17,000 of their $20,000 goal. This project has 20 days left to raise the $20,000 or it will not be funded. For a pledge of $25, you will get one soundtrack.  For a pledge of $50, you will get a link to the final film.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:

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