Bunker. 2021. USA. Directed by Jenny Perlin. New York premiere. 92 min.
Independent filmmaker Jenny Perlin—whose forays into the corners of the American psyche range from studies of midcentury domestic espionage to self-help books produced by the Ford Motor Company—began filming in underground bunkers at the beginning of 2018. The result, Bunker, is part road trip and part cinéma vérité, a view into the lives of men living in decommissioned nuclear silos and military bunkers across the Midwest. These concrete vestiges of the Cold War, rehabbed by those who were preparing for the disintegration of society far before the COVID pandemic, offer a timely reflection on ideas of survival and shelter. In visits to secluded hideaways and luxury compounds, Perlin encounters individuals marked by solitude, eccentricity, ingenuity—not to mention entrepreneurial bravado—who each hint at the nebulous question of what makes a good life or a bright future.
Each thing its place. 2019. USA. Directed by Jenny Perlin. World premiere. 4 min.
Perlin's whimsical hand-drawn animation is based on a 16th-century treatise on mining instruments. Taking inspiration from her time in the VivosX bunker complex in South Dakota, Each thing its place is a compact, chromatic journey underground.