The plummeting price of digital cameras and editing software, combined with the death spiral of network news, has resulted in a booming documentary offering over the past couple of Sundances. The public loves the genre, and like a William Gibson novel, it seems like everyone is now recording everything. If there's a conflict, obscure sport, or flamboyant personality you can be sure someone, somewhere, is making it into a documentary, and the result is a crop of boring-to-serviceable documentaries that are occasionally more suited for cable distribution than theatrical.

I thought for sure Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon would fall into the television news documentary category, but was pleasantly surprised that the films excellent pacing and structure made it truly a film--not a Frontline episode.

Clear Cut, tells the story of a timber town in transition: as the blue collar jobs leave, the liberal information workers move in. They bring with them some unwelcome values including what locals perceive as a pro-environment, pro-gay, and ...