The Common Sense Farm exanimes the world of the Twelve Tribes, a communal Judeo-Christian religious group often referred to as a cult. As a seventeen-year-old woman goes through her wedding, the community's religious goals -- and the role of women and children in achieving them -- are revealed. This insulated way of life has led to a fragile relationship with the outside world, sparking controversies, conflicts and misunderstandings on both sides of the fence.
Director's Statement Collapse
The Common Sense Farm was my senior documentary project at Vassar College. I went into the project with the intentions of portraying the Twelve Tribes religious community as a group misunderstood by the media, and found it impossible to choose sides on such a complex issue. My crew and I stayed the night at the community, danced with them, dined with them, and attended a wedding. My crew and the members of the community learned to respect yet also question each other, both of which are reflected in this film.
About the Director(s)Collapse
KATHLEEN RUSSELL grew up in rural McMinnville, Oregon among 35 lawn-mowing guinea pigs. She attended Vassar College and graduated in 2006 with departmental honors in film, and a minor in history. There she directed two student short films, The Common Sense Farm, a documentary, and Ciggies, a comedy. She now lives in New York.