When I started filming in Rutland, Vermont in September of 2016, the goal was to capture the preparations of this rural town in welcoming 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. With the election of Donald Trump in November of 2016 everything changed. One of the first major shifts in immigration policy was the so-called "Muslim travel ban" initiated by the Trump administration. As a result, only nine people of the initial 100 refugees arrived in Rutland. Since then, Rutland has been suspended as a refugee resettlement destination.
In March 2017, the pro-refugee mayor of Rutland, Christopher Louras, lost his re-election campaign due to the community's divide on the refugee issue. In many ways, Rutland is a microcosm of what has been unfolding across this nation since the election. We now find ourselves as a divided nation in danger of forgetting what binds us. And to forget what makes us alike is to deny each other our humanity.
Rutland is an experimental full-feature documentary with a running time of 72 minutes.