when the dust clears

Words about and images of matters political, social, and military

Anchorage International Film Festival, Day 7

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I saw a white plastic sign outside the Anchorage Museum a couple of days ago: Ten buses a day to Wasilla. I thought, Why not tomorrow? I’ll daytrip out there, poke around, snap a photo of myself in front of City Hall or some such place to prove I was there, then head home. Alaskans warned me that the town is pretty much a “strip mall with a highway running through it,” but I figured, when’s the next time I’m going to be here, so close to the spawning ground of That Former Alaska Governor Turned Ubiquitous Media Phenom?

That night I was invited to dinner by Eden, the sister of a friend I haven’t seen in nearly two decades, Lee. (Facebook provided the connection.) Her husband Steve cooked us a great meal—crab cake appetizer and fajitas in abundance. We talked as Eden washed the dishes. Steve recounted how recently a TSA agent inspecting his driver’s license at an airport security checkpoint outside Alaska asked, “Can you see Russia from your house?” Steve said he’d heard these tired references to Herself so many times before. He shook his head. “Nobody asks us about the mountains anymore,” Eden said. “Or the fish. Or the bears.”

Food for thought on top of a lovely dinner.

Yesterday, the organizers of the film festival piled a half dozen of us filmmakers in a van, Taavi from Estonia and Erik from the UK among us, for a field trip of a different sort.

You couldn’t call what we did “hiking” in the truest sense—we trudged around in the snow in the shadow of Flat Top Mountain for only an hour or so. Film festival general manager Dawnell walked us to a lookout point below which Anchorage sprawls, with Denali and other peaks in the Alaska Range in the distance. There was a slight haze over the mountains, but everything else was clear. Stunning and humbling. From where I stood, I could see Alaska.

No Wasilla on this trip.

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Written by bxpnyc

2010/12/10 at 03:20

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