Short Doc Captures A Charmingly Sincere Renaissance Subculture

Short Doc American Renaissance Captures a Charmingly Sincere Subculture

As this short doc by Jarred Alterman and Ryan Scafuro shows, American Renaissance festivals have become less about historical recreation, and more about community building and providing an outlet for offbeat creative expression.

Most of the film is simply beautifully-shot portraits of attendees, lingering on the details of their costumes but never passing judgment (though one participant admits he thought Ren faires were “nerdy” — 14 years ago, when he first started attending).

We also meet a few charismatic subjects that speak to the variety of people who are drawn to the subculture, including a family whose teenaged son grew up touring festivals with them, a woman who’d “had enough of this real-life shit” so she joined the “travelling hippie commune,” and another woman who’s been cosplaying as Queen Elizabeth for over 20 years. It’s a window onto a world that may not appeal to everyone — but it also makes you understand why it does appeal to some.

[Vimeo Staff Picks]

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