Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon (2006)




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Philomath, Oregon, is a small timber town with a very generous benefactor. The Clemens family, owing their success to the local logging industry, decided to give back to their community by offering college scholarships to all graduates of the local high school. For more than 40 years, they provided thousands of students with free college tuition-no strings attached. As the fading lumber industry gave way to new high-tech industries, Philomath found itself in flux, with old and new ways of life dividing residents. As one of the descendants in charge of the Clemens Foundation, Steve Lowther was determined to change what he felt was a "politically correct" (read "antilogging") curriculum and lack of morals among students. He pressed the school board to stop the liberal bias that was allegedly overrunning the school's administration. What unfurled was a drag-out fight-under intense national media scrutiny-involving the future of the foundation, with the students caught in the middle. While the action takes place in Philomath, the film's ultimate strength is the way it serves as a microcosm for the vast ideological divisions within our country. Director Peter Richardson has crafted a seamless portrait of a clash of differing values. With those on both sides of the issue well represented, Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon is a triumphant piece of filmmaking.-- (C) Sundance Film Festival

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Critic Reviews for Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

In leading players' righteousness and unwillingness to compromise, this real-life drama encapsulates current U.S. society's tug-of-war over values.

January 28, 2006

The film should interest PBS type of viewers concerned about the culture wars between traditionalists and progressives... .

March 4, 2009 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

You read about issues like the ones it's concerned with all the time, but in the abstract; it's remarkable to see them presented in a way that helps you both see and feel the reality.

May 12, 2006 | Rating: B+

Peter Richardson tries to provide a fair and balanced (to coin a phrase) look at both sides.

January 23, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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