Submarine · Cross-Media Production Studio

Off the Grid

46 of the 50 American states are on the verge of bankruptcy. More than 13 million Americans are unemployed. The national debt ceiling was recently raised and is now 14 trillion dollars. More than 49 million people live below the poverty line. Since the latest financial crisis, the confidence in the federal government is lower than ever before.

Director Alexander Oey traveled across the United States, filming communities who have taken matters into their own hands. In Great Barrington, Massachusetts, residents have established their own currency, the Berkshare, to be less dependent on the dollar. In Colorado Springs, the local population has the right to vote against any tax raise and puts its trust in the private sector. In Austin, Texas, radio host Alex Jones recently decided to live off the grid, with his own electricity and water supplies. In Sandpoint, Idaho, a transition town has been developed where the classic American Dream has made room for sustainability.

All these initiatives are a way to create a better life in a time of great uncertainty. They try to find their own utopia outside the financial system or government.
Are these communities heading for the right direction? While governments around the world spiral toward bankruptcy, can they find alternatives that really work?