‘Shack Time’ Now Available for Streaming

Thalassa. (Russell Steven Powell)

YOU MAY HAVE RECENTLY READ or heard about the latest controversy over the future of the dune shacks in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Eight shacks are currently up for long-term leases that leave many questions unanswered. Proposals were due last week, and decisions are expected sometime this fall.

My 2001 documentary, Shack Time, for the first time is available for streaming on YouTube. Many of the people featured are now gone, including shack owners Laura Fowler, Zara Ofsevit Jackson, and Ray Wells, but the program gives a broad portrait of the shacks and why people care so deeply about them.

Shack Time features readings by Annie Dillard and Cynthia Huntington; photographs by Walker Evans (including a stunning portrait of late shack owner Hazel Hawthorne Werner); a photograph of Jack Kerouac typing in the dunes, and more. 

The 25-minute video was chosen for the 2001 New England Film and Video Festival and made its debut at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, later airing regionally on PBS affiliate WGBH-TV in Boston.

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