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Forty Years in Flames

After a barn fire destroys a lifetime of master reels and priceless memories, one documentary filmmaker picks up the pieces of his career’s cruelest plot twist.

By | February 25, 2014

Richard Searls is a warrior among documentarians. He has an indent on his forehead from getting bumped with a tripod leg and a tattoo of a rosebud on his hand, a reference to “Citizen Kane.” Most famous for “Dead River Rough Cut,” a film he made with Stu Silverstein about two trappers living in the backwoods of Maine, Searls has produced and shot hundreds of films. In late January 2013, the unthinkable happened: A fire destroyed his farmhouse and took with it a lifetime of master reels, recording equipment and negatives.

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The Grieving Mom Fighting for a Healthcare System That Actually Works

Amy Vilela lost her daughter when she couldn’t afford the medical bills. When her Congressman told her he wouldn’t support universal healthcare, Amy said, “I’m running.”

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This Ferguson Activist Wants to be Missouri’s First Black Congresswoman

Cori Bush is a registered nurse, a pastor and a mom. After taking to the streets to protest police killings, she looked in the mirror and said, “why not politician, too?”

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The 28-Year-Old Latina Challenging New York’s Most Powerful Congressman

“The Boss of the Queens Machine” hasn’t faced a primary challenger in 14 years. But an underfunded upstart is suddenly giving him a run for his money.

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This Coalminer’s Daughter Is Mad as Hell—And Running for the U.S. Senate

Paula Jean Swearengin has seen West Virginia’s land exploited, its people fall ill, and its politicians do nothing. So she decided to do something herself.

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These 4 Women Are Taking on a Politician Near You

The coalminer’s daughter. The bartender. The police brutality activist. The grieving mother. Each looked at the man representing her in Congress and said, “I can do better.”

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The Collector of Time

As Mark McKinley puts it, “no collector ever says, ‘I’ve gone too far.'” After 27 years and an official Guinness World Record, he stands by that statement.

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The Saviors of Saffron

Three young Spaniards are reviving the farming tradition that flourished in their grandparents' generation.

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An Aging Mother’s Animated Love Letter to Her Autistic Son

“Who would look after him if I wasn’t here?” and other questions this mom asks herself every day.

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Courvosier Cox Knows He’s a Superstar

Meet a teenage actor-singer-comedian with absolutely no doubt that his tumultuous adolescence will soon give way to Hollywood fame.

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