The first documentary by director Garrett Scott who went on to make the Iraq war masterpiece OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND with Ian Olds. CUL DE SAC tells the story of Shawn Nelson, a crystal meth addict who stole a tank from a San Diego military base and wreaked havoc in the suburbs. Scott takes the police helicopter footage of the event to tell a surreal story of the US military industrial complex and the rise and fall of suburbia.
“Brilliant… Each time Cul De Sac revisits Nelson’s low-speed tank chase, he seems less like a standard-issue nut-job loner and more like a military/industrial Frankenstein’s monster, haunted by (and hunted for) other people’s sins.” – New York Press
The film won acclaim when it played at the Toronto International Film Festival and NY Underground Film Festival. Filmmaker Magazine named Scott one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2002. It was a great loss when he died of a heart attack in March 2006, at age 37, two days before he and Olds were awarded the Independent Spirit Award. He was a beloved member of the New York documentary community and a regular attendee at Stranger Than Fiction.