The third feature length release from Brett Story reveals a world haunted by the spectre of global warming. Shot in its entirety in August (2017) Story wanders through the five boroughs of New York City, asking ordinary Americans, “How are you feeling about the future?” The mosaic that emerges is a mirror of a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy civilian life. With composition as elegant as its content, I cannot emphasis enough how our audiences need to see this film.
DokuDaily: You’re an economic geographer by trade, what is that? And how does that bleed into your film?
Brett Story: All that means is that I got a PhD in geography, human geography in particular. I like to tell people that geography is like a sociology of space. I study how people produce spaces, and how spaces in turn organize the world and organize how we exist in the world. I think a lot about cities, how cities are constructed. How the world is socially produced, and that informs all of my films. My films are very much about locations. Not just who people are and what they think, but how who we are and what we think is informed by the places that we inhabit and vice versa.
The Hottest August was filmed in August, 2017. Statistically speaking, this wasn’t the hottest August in American history. Does the film’s title refer to a world that’s simmering towards its boiling point?