Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Kelly Reichardt

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Artist’s Statement

My project, The Wilbillies, is essentially about a farm, a family, and ultimately, about a way of life that makes sense. It follows the Wilhelm family in their daily living on their taro farm in Hawaii and depicts a somewhat uncommon lifestyle. Unlike most families, the Wilhelms homeschool all four of their children, live in a tree house, and farm the ancient Hawaiian food staple, taro. They didn’t always live like this though.

Before life on the farm, the Wilhelms were a young family living comfortably in suburbia with a small garden in the backyard of their duplex home. They would often have gatherings in their carport where they would cook Hawaiian food and play music with friends, but soon enough, the gatherings grew to a place where there were too many people to host. They realized they wanted to have land to grow their own food and feed others with it too, so against the strong advice of family and friends who thought they were crazy, the Wilhelms sold their house and bought land. Their transition wasn’t immediate though – after a six year journey of living in garage-sized apartments and caretaking a church, we find the Wilhelms where they are now – their farm up and running, and with a strong presence in their community, not to mention with a tree house.

Though this part of the Wilhelm’s story is not the focus of my film, it’s a part of the story I consider important to tell because it was what led me to document the Wilhelms in the first place, and it reflects the sacrifices they made in order to fulfill their vision for a different way of life.

My project does not attempt to explain as much as it does to simply offer a glimpse into the life of a family in their pursuit to live a life of connectedness – to their land, their culture, and to their community.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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