“You’ve got to have some place to get away from this turmoil… It’s not that I don’t like people – I do. But I don’t like swarms of them.” So says Jack English, the 93-year-old subject of Jack, a short film by Grace Jackson about a man who lives alone in California’s Ventana Wilderness five miles from the nearest road in a hand-built cabin.
This is a life-story encapsulated in four minutes and a valuable perspective on what most of us consider progress. “I’m different from most people…I’d rather go back than go ahead,” says English, who hand-crafts violin bows for a living. “The main thing [about the Ventana Wilderness] is that it doesn’t change. It seems to be the same as when I first came here [80 years ago]. And that’s unusual today, anywhere you go.”