CUFF

OFF THE GRID: LIFE ON THE MESA Jeremy & Randy Stulberg

Documentary Video 64:00 2007

Twenty-Five miles from town, a million miles from mainstream society, a loose-knit community of radicals live in the desert, struggling to survive with little food, less water and no electricity, as they cling to their unique vision of the American dream.

The Mesa has no access to the electrical grid and is not patrolled by a police force. There is no official rule of law.

This post-modern wild west is a haven for an uneasy combination of American Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Gulf War Syndrome and teenage runaways drawn by the sense of anarchy, anonymity and freedom.

Anti-establishment beliefs are tested when a group of rebel runaways called “the nowhere kids” begins to stockpile weapons and steal food from neighboring residents. The community is challenged to find common ground in order to protect themselves against this dangerous faction. Residents form a council, and hold a hearing to deal with the thieves but their uneasy relationship with local police (fueled in part by a recent raid on the Mesa’s marijuana stores) leaves them with little recourse.