About the Film
Entrenched in nostalgia, “High Country” tells a timeless American story of how a community of conscientious and forward-thinking young people, disguised as ski bums and hippies, happened upon a ramshackle mining town on the fringe of society and worked to conserve and protect it for years to come. Hidden amidst the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte, Colorado has always been a place defined by its people. During the 1960s and 70s, this lawless frontier town provided a hide-out, an escape, and ultimately a paradise for the wandering souls who stumbled upon it. Driven by stewardship over greed, this progressive group found themselves with a blank canvas of a town in which they would create a world of their own. Since that time, Crested Butte has continued to grapple with how best to walk the line between growth and conservation – a challenge faced by small towns across America today. Crested Butte is a unique example of a place that, in the face of economic pressures, has managed to maintain its strong sense of character. The goal of this film is to share the story of one town, in the hopes of inspiring community amongst others.
It’s a film about how if you don’t take care of a place you risk losing it forever.
Presented in partnership with Leadership Park City. Post-film discussion with director and Crested Butte native, Conor Hagen, author Paul Andersen and Myles Rademan, founder Leadership Park City and former town planner for Crested Butte, Co.
Admission is free. Advance registration is requested, but not required to attend.
Crested Butte is an old mining-town-turned-ski-town nestled at the headwaters of the Gunnison Valley in Southwestern Colorado. It is surrounded by some of the most pristine, untouched wilderness in Colorado. It’s the kind of place, that when driving into, one literally gasps in awe of the beauty. To the outside world, it is a town known for its world-class biking, skiing, hiking, wildflowers, and natural beauty. But, to locals, it is known for much more. It is considered with great pride as a place defined by its conservationist spirit, its antics, its costume parties, its defiance of the norms, and mostly by its strength of community. But, as a resort town, Crested Butte is not alone in its struggles to cope with economic pressures and environmental impacts at the hand of tourism and growth. “Crested Butte is a microcosm of a much larger American debate,” a debate of who we want to be. If we simply acquiesce and standby as progress bounds forward, we’re going to be left in the dust, complaining. But, if we embrace our local communities with care, if we consider the future, then we might see some positivity within the progress. We exist in one of the most divisive eras in American history; in order for us to save our communities and conserve our natural world we must embrace progress with care and consideration, much like the town of Crested Butte has consistently attempted to do.
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