Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Documentary filmmaker Garrett Scott uses a bizarre news item as a launching point to explore the decline of the American working class. In May of 1995, methamphetamine addict and former soldier Shawn Nelson made headlines across the country when he stole a tank from a California National Guard armory, and took it on a joyride through Clairemont, California, a quiet suburb of San Diego. In the 1950s and '60s, Clairemont flourished thanks to the defense industry. By the end of the 20th Century, however, the former boomtown had succumbed to rampant crime, and a crumbling economy. Using news footage of Nelson's rampage as a launching point, Scott speaks with local historians, police officers, and real estate agents to present a disturbing snapshot of the middle class as this once-crucial component of American society circles the drain of economic despair.
backyard, chase, community, decline, defense-plant, mine-shaft, plumber, prosperity, rampage, substance-abuse, suburbs, tank [vehicle], thief, unemployment, wasteland, working-class