In 1960, Bill Coperthwaite bought 300 acres of wilderness in Machiasport, Maine. Influenced by the poetry of Emily Dickinson and by the ‘back to the land’ movement of Scott and Helen Nearing, Bill Coperthwaite is committed to what he calls “a handmade life.” For the last fifty years, Bill Coperthwaite has lived and worked in the forest. He is a builder of yurts, and a maker of spoons, bowls and chairs. A meditation on time and process, the film explores an overlooked aspect of American culture and the critical place of nature within it.
Anna Grimshaw is the author of “The Ethnographer’s Eye” and co-author of “Observational Cinema”. For the last 5 years, she has been making films in Machiasport, a small fishing town in downeast Maine. In 2013 she completed a four-part film work, Mr Coperthwaite: a life in the Maine Woods (Berkeley Media/RAI), a companion piece, A Chair: in six parts (RAI), and At Low Tide (RAI). She teaches at Emory University.