Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s new documentary exploring culture, class and community in America will air on PBS World Channel on Mar. 3
Thursday, Mar. 3 at 8 p.m. — “America ReFramed,” the Peabody Award-winning documentary series coproduced by PBS World Channel nonprofit media arts organization American Documentary (AmDoc), takes viewers to Vermont where a battle rages over refugee resettlement in Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s “For the Love of Rutland.” As passions heat up nationally over race, economics and immigration in 2016, the film captures the fallout in the blue-collar city of Rutland, where residents grappled with the resettlement of Syrian refugees while facing the devastation of a stagnating local economy and a growing opioid crisis. The film will have its national broadcast premiere on World Channel on Thursday, Mar. 3, at 8 p.m. and will stream on worldchannel.org and other platforms.
An intimate, verité-style documentary, “For the Love of Rutland” explores issues affecting communities across the nation in the microcosm of Vermont’s second largest city. As tensions over the attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to the predominantly white Rutland grow, cultural, racial and political divides deepen amongst the citizens. Despite a lifetime of feeling invalidated and shamed for her poverty and addiction, Stacie, a long-time Rutland resident, emerges as an unexpected and resilient leader. As she works to maintain her sobriety and struggles to provide for her family, her own evolution allows her to see parallels between her life and those of the newcomers to Rutland.
A filmmaker of Mexican and Anglo descent, Taylor, whose credits include “New Muslim Cool” (POV 2009) and “Paulina” (Sundance Channel 2000), moved to Rutland from Southern California as an elementary school student. She drew on her own perspectives as a one-time newcomer in making this film about people who are considered outsiders. “Although it’s been more than 35 years since I lived in the Rutland area, I have always wanted to tell a story about small town life from the perspective of someone who’s felt pushed aside and squashed by the harsh class dynamics that are the sort of underbelly of an otherwise beautiful place, that confounding duality of kindness and cruelty.”
“For The Love of Rutland” had its world premiere at the 2020 Hot Docs International Film Festival, where it was named one of Indiewire’s 10 Most Exciting Films and one of 2020’s “Best 10 Documentaries” by POV magazine.
“We are happy to have this film join the ‘America ReFramed’ family of documentaries. It is a pivotal exploration of how communities across our country continually change and adapt, as do the residents within them when they are allowed the grace to learn and grow from their mistakes,” said Chris Hastings, executive producer/managing editor of World Channel at WGBH in Boston.
“This is the quintessential ‘America ReFramed’ film, offering a glimpse of the ‘other America’ while opening viewers’ hearts and minds in unexpected ways,” said Chris White, executive producer for the series at the New York-based nonprofit, American Documentary. “We were first introduced to Jennifer’s style of compassionate storytelling with ‘New Muslim Cool’ on POV and are proud to present her latest film as part of this special tenth season.”
The film is a co-presentation of Vermont PBS’ curated film series, “Made Here,” which showcases the best locally-based content from Vermont, Montréal, upstate New York and northern New England. In addition to the broadcast on World Channel, the film will begin streaming on March 3 on worldchannel.org, World Channel’s YouTube Channel and on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
For more information, visit world channel.org.