Suspecting there was something ugly in her family’s past, the film charts a filmmaker's excavation of the buried family conflict around her uncle Miguel’s death, and her search for his partner Robert a generation later.
Consumerism has a personal cost in the rise and fall of a small rural community.
On the farm, no sanitation worker wearing gloves comes to make garbage disappear. Bottles and cans are collected for regular trips to the county landfill, food scraps go to the compost heap, and piles upon piles of paper are fed weekly into the burning barrel. Using home movies, family snapshots, the prairie landscape, and advertising images drawn from the last 35 years, The Burning Barrel documents the rise and fall of a small rural community and, in the process, explores the personal and social costs of consumerism.