Directed by Garrett Scott • Documentary • 2001 • 57 minutes
In May 1995, Shawn Nelson, a 35 year-old plumber from Clairemont, California, emerged from an eighteen foot mine shaft he had dug beneath his backyard in search for gold. An ex-soldier and methamphetamine abuser, he stole a tank from a nearby National Guard armory and went on a rampage through the residential streets of his neighborhood, crushing cars and lampposts until the cops took him down.
CUL DE SAC goes far beyond this apparently minor news story and provides extensive political, economic and social context that ties Nelson's life to the larger story of a working class community in decline.
"Thoughtful, unpredictable, and gripping... an engrossing true-life story. More important, it's a brilliant cultural and political essay, packed with insights into grass-roots attitudes about violence and war."—Christian Science Monitor