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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Finding Kirsten

  • Author(s): duthie, heather duthie a
  • et al.

Finding Kirsten is a half hour long documentary film produced by Heather Duthie, a student at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California Berkeley.

Kirsten Brydum was on a mission. She believed that within the scattered outposts of radical communities spread out across America, a movement was beginning to emerge. She called this movement “Collective Autonomy,” and in the summer of 2008 Kirsten set out to document it with little more than a camera in her hand and an Amtrak pass in her pocket – she would not return home.

The film will follow Kirsten’s good friend Tyson, as he retraces her journey across the country. Beginning in the Northeast, it will revisit the alternative communities where Kirsten spent time. Crossing the Midwest, the film will introduce the audience to the projects and people that Kirsten believed are “creating a post-capitalist world today.”

Kirsten’s beautifully written journal entries and letters home will be used to narrate the film; her still photographs will be used to illustrate her journey.

Kirsten's final stop was New Orleans. After months of traveling alone, she was brutally murdered in an abandoned neighborhood in the Upper Ninth Ward; her killers remain at large. The film will use her journey to explore the culture of avante-garde thinkers and seekers that she was a part of and examine the ground-up solutions they're using to create a better world.

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