Interview with Tommy Baker

FACING EAST is the story of a cemetery in Kentucky that re-uses graves – over and over and over. It’s a confronting and powerful doc. We spoke to director Tommy Baker about it.

Tell us about the motivation to make a film based on this, well, crooked cemetery?

I just kind of fell into this documentary really organically. A friend of mine recommended me to the Friends of Eastern Cemetery group, I was just starting off as a film maker and they needed someone to come and help them shoot some footage they could use to raise awareness of what they were doing. I believe they were in their first year and the cemetery was still in really bad shape. After leaving the first day that I came down there with my camera, I knew that there was a much, much bigger story there and I had to find out more. I didn't know right off that it would be a feature length film but the more I kept going down there, talking to people, researching the cemetery, the crazier and crazier the story kept getting. Several times we thought we had a rough cut of the finished movie and then someone would contact us or some new piece of information would come to light. None of us expected the story to be as big, or as dark as it ultimately turned out to be.

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