A trip to Burning Man

The film “Taking My Parents to Burning Man” directed by Bryant Boesen, also the main star of the production, was hosted in Sonoma State University’s Warren Hall in Ives auditorium by the Sonoma Film Institute. The Sonoma Film Institute has been around since 1973 and several films will be shown annually, starting in August. The institute has had many star appearances such as Nicholas Ray and has shown many films of various genres.      

 The film “Taking My Parents to Burning Man” starts off with the director asking random people on the street “what is Burning Man?” Some responded with “it’s a party in the desert,” “it’s a place where people can express themselves freely without judgment” and “it’s a place where anything can happen.” Right from the very start, Boesen had his viewers wondering what is this film really going to entail?  Boesen, the main lead, had convinced his parents to go to Burning Man with him. While his parents were somewhat resistant at first, they eventually came  around to joining their son on a journey far from their comfort zones. A day before Burning Man, Boesen and his family found that they did not have a ride. Distress starts to set in due to their lack of transportation, Bryant’s mother’s injury and their inability access their money from their fundraiser. Not knowing if the family will be able to attend Burning Man, created a feeling of uncertainty among audience members.

 Boesen did not let this obstacle stop them and by the chance of luck he and his family are able to get a ride with his friends on a bus. This bus ride was like any enjoyable trip with family and friends except when Boesen played the well-known game “never have you ever” along with his family and friends; which was the start of many humorous moments throughout the movie. The film made its audience feel as if they were there looking at all the interesting sights, such as the art cars, the intense lights, the burning of a set up wall street made of wood and community that Burning Man created.  The camera angles display how desirable Burning Man is at night, for it looked like a carnival of expressed creativity held back by no barriers.

For the duration of the movie Boesen and his parents break down barriers and their relationship starts to strengthen.  The most heartfelt moment was when the family fully united and went to the Temple where people go to remember their lost ones. Bryant’s grandmother had passed recently and going to the Temple helped the family find some closure. While the trip starts to wrap up, it is clear that the whole Boesen family has gone through a transformation. Right before the Boesen family leaves they watch the major part of the Burning Man festival where the Man is set on fire ending the festival for the year. The end of the film takes a look at the Boesen family four months from when they left Burning Man and shows them getting ready to go to next year’s Burning Man festival. 

“The perfect way for me to experience Burning Man. All the color, spectacle, spaciousness and none of the dust, wind, throb, thirst- highly recommended,” said Kathryn Kettier, fellow moviegoer.

“I’ve always wondered about Burning Man and I’m so grateful to be able to see this much of it without having to eat dust,” said Mary Grul, another spectator.

This film made one feel as if they were there with the Boesen family sharing all the stressful moments, good times and enjoying Burning Man first-hand.