The Light at Walden

Directed by Pablo Frasconi
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Premiering at THE WILD & SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL –where activism gets inspired– in Nevada City, CA in January 2015.

The Light at Walden TRAILER from Pablo Frasconi on Vimeo.


All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”   –Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement. The non-violent resister not only avoids external, physical violence but he avoids internal violence of spirit.”  –Dr. Martin Luther King

THE LIGHT AT WALDEN is a visual poem shot at Walden Pond, Massachusetts, interweaving pieces of Thoreau’s texts and a war resister’s personal journey on a wilderness island in Canada. The filmmaker, as a young man during the U.S. / Vietnam War, attempts to follow Thoreau’s principles: building a cabin and living sustainably in the woods, “to front only the essential facts of life.” This is one story among the nearly 125,000 war resisters in Canada.

Music by John Luther Adams, Braids, Michael Byron, John Cage, Peter Davison, Deuter, Hamza El Din, Halou, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives, Joan Jeanrenaud, Arvo Part, Michael Perricone, Carlos Salzedo, and Karen Tanaka (40 minutes)


Pablo Frasconi, a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, left the U.S. for Canada and designed and built a cabin (much like Thoreau’s) on an island in Nova Scotia. He returned to the U.S. in 1976, and since, has received 19 national and regional grants and fellowships for film production, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Film Institute. His films: Survival of a Small City, Towards The Memory of a Revolution, and The Woodcuts of Antonio Frasconi have been broadcast on PBS and distributed by the Museum of Modern Art, The American Federation of Arts and Filmmakers’ Library. They are in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the Virginia Museum of Arts, and hundreds of institutions and libraries. The Longing, interpreting the poetry of Teresa de Avila, premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2008. He has also worked on productions for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Weston Woods Studios. He is currently Professor of Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches Production II Editing, Creating Poetic Cinema, and Nature, Design & Media, in the new Media Arts + Practice Division.


Production update: With funding from the Park Foundation; The Light at Walden is complete and the premiere will be at THE WILD & SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL –where activism gets inspired– in Nevada City, CA in January, 2015.