When You Leave 

 
 

Jenny Stark's lovely daydream of a movie is set in the Sacramento
River Delta. It's not the California people dream about. But if you
could look inside all those California dreams, you'd find the Delta
inside. Dammed, piped, pumped, and channeled. The plumbing.

It's no accident that, midway through the film, Stark's lens lingers
for a moment on a book in the window of an antiques shop: Hal Roth's "After 50,000 Miles." A book that tells you how to cross the ocean in a boat of your own. An instruction manual for escaping this continent, and this Delta, and the California dreams that have been sucked dry by the big cities and the industrial farms. But for every sailor on the high seas, there are the folks he's left behind. A little brother and a single mother who love him, but who know he has to leave.

-- Bill Brown, Filmmaker