About the film
Through a hyper-local landscape essay focused on a pair of trees in Portland’s deep southeast Lents neighborhood, the filmmaker compares her experience as an artist-parent to that of folk singer Woody Guthrie, who once lived blocks away. Guthrie’s lyrics celebrating opportunity for the family man play out against historical and cyclical forces of pioneer land domination, rampant, divisive construction, and homeless and indigenous displacement. While life as a mother challenges the filmmaker’s identity as an artist, truths about Guthrie’s personal life emerge that reveal a more compromised vision of a Western paradise than his lyrics would suggest.
Meditative shots of the sequoia trees and their immediate universe — sub/urban home, freeway, playground, park, construction site — provide a visual topography for the filmmaker’s reflections that register as much a question mark as a valentine to this uniquely storied corner of the city. The sequoias remain visible in almost every frame, alternately serving as witness, judge, symbol, or sanctuary.
Shot and colored to echo the weathered timelessness of a family snapshot, NO MORE DOPE PARTIES is an intimate film about connection to place, meanings of home, and the risks and rewards of stability and longing. Inspired in form and function by Jenni Olson’s cinematic documentary THE ROYAL ROAD.