We Take the Low Road
Suppose you discovered the exponentially rising cost of health care was the product of a nationwide conspiracy, and you knew exactly who was responsible? One desperate solution is the premise of this stark thriller.
Quoting both John Wayne and Friedrich Nietzsche, We Take the Low Road translates the aesthetics of David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water into the Pacific Northwest, with a dose of horror and dark comedy. After a leak reveals that the medical industry conspired with politicians to dramatically increase prices and exploit the ill, and names the corporate villains who profited, three vigilantes take justice into their own hands in this grisly Western thriller set among the grassy hills and burnt yellow hues of Eastern Washington. The three would-be murderers—a vengeful son, a quick-witted mechanic, and a cash-strapped friend—slip on crazed animal masks and hit the road with a name and address. Their motivation: revenge, righting injustice, and…well…cash. Their plan: simple. Their execution: not so much. As the trio’s mission spirals violently out of control and they threaten to become no better than the monsters they’re hunting, co-directors Domenic Barbero and Jerry Spears bring in welcome ambiguity. We Take the Low Road’s hard look at healthcare is topical and provocative, but it moves far beyond it in reflecting more broadly on the impact of illness—its cruelty and ubiquity—and on inequity, justice, and violence. While navigating these questions, Barbero and Spears’ film winds among dry valleys and wind turbines, enamored of the dry, isolated desert.
A Seattle native and graduate of the Northwest Film School, Domenic Barbero is an award-winning director and cinematographer who specializes in narrative, commercial music video, and documentary films. Aspiring to bring attention to the Northwest through great narrative and sustainable content, Barbero still finds himself traveling the world to shoot his content. His credits include several major networks, movies, shorts, and music videos, with his current focus directed toward feature-length narratives as well as experimental projects. Barbero also supplies the community with industry-gold-standard gear through his locally own business, Northwest Camera Co.
Jerry Spears is an award-winning commercial producer and filmmaker who lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area as a writer, director, and video editor.
Sponsored by 4Culture, City of Shoreline, Encore Media Group, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Shoreline Community College, Sound Publishing Seattle Weekly
- Director: Domenic Barbero, Jerry Spears
- Principal Cast: Rich Morris, Brian Sutherland, Amanda Viola, Russell Hodgkinson, Anisha Adusumili
- Premiere Status: World Premiere
- Country: USA
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 94 minutes
- Producer: Domenic Barbero, Jerry Spears
- Screenplay: Domenic Barbero, Jerry Spears
- Cinematographers: Domenic Barbero
- Editors: Fred Beahm, Jerry Spears
- Music: Kevin Curtin, Jonas Wilson
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Spears: John Basketball (2014); Barbero: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English
- Format: DCP