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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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New Burning Man Documentary Asks Big Questions

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Burning Man attracts roughly 60,000 people to the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. To some, the week-long music festival is a circus, a running joke about a crazed counter culture. To others, it is an empire of escapism.

Award-winning filmmaker and Milwaukee native, Julie Pifher, captured the experience. Burning Man and the Meaning of Life is a documentary that explores the “bigger meaning of it all” by asking festival participants to weigh in on the question.

“This art-centric city is a gifting community where nothing is for sale and everyone must be self-sufficient,” Pifher said. “The festival's motto perfectly symbolizes the stages of life: you come to the city (birth), build and experience art and culture (life), then burn it all down and leave without a trace (death).”

There’s something very raw and primitive about the experience. In a place where humans can exist in their freest form of self and find the strongest form of community, they may also find the meaning of life. Perhaps the festival is the actualization of the most basic human purpose.

To know for sure you’ll have to see the film.  

Pifher will be returning to Milwaukee for the July 11 film screening at Times Cinema, 5906 W Vliet St. The screening is at 9:30 pm and will feature fire dancers, burlesque dancers and live entertainment. Tickets are on sale at www.rosebudtickets.com/times. The film can also be found on iTunes and is currently ranked tenth under “New and Noteworthy.”