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Thursday, December 12, 2019
(NR) 88min
Jan 17 - 19, 5:30 & 7:30
On the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard, where presidents and celebrities vacation, trophy homes threaten to destroy the island’s unique character. MDI, like Newport RI, and the Hamptons on Long Island NY shares many of the same attributes. Twelve years in the making, this story follows one carpenter’s journey to understand the trend toward giant houses. When he feels complicit in wrecking the place he calls home, he takes off his tool belt and picks up a camera. Questioning whether huge "trophy" mansion houses are appropriate for the Vineyard, or for any coastal community, he started documenting his search for answers. Bumping up against angry homeowners and builders who look the other way, director Thomas Bena works with his community and attempts to pass a new bylaw to limit house size. This gripping film is really not about trophy houses per se; it is more a case study in taking action at the local level. Communities must work together to determine their destiny, and that often entails difficult conversations about prickly issues.