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Mitch McCabe's documentary, 23 MILE, is a different look at the political and cultural divides here in these United States. Drawing on footage filmed after they returned to Michigan to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, and encompassing not just the contentious 2020 election, but also the Black Lives Matter movement and the plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, the documentary shows us a population that is passionate in its varied beliefs, but not strident as in other part so the country featured in the mainstream media. The result is a meditation on who people arrive at different places politically, and a template for co-existing with them in a way that is patient, not confrontational.

We started our Zoom conversation on May10, 2024 with how radical their approach was in presenting the people they feature in the documentary before moving on to the haunting effect of using voices from radio call-in shows to set the mood, what it’s like interviewing people carrying heavy weapons, and the reality of filming at the height of the COVID lockdown.

McCabe’s previous work includes CIVIL WAR SURVEILLANCE POEMS, an ongoing project that creates a series of short films about a future civil war in the United States told from a historical perspective.