On November 28, 2016, a wildfire raged through the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, killing 14 people and displacing thousands more. Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation began a program called My People Fund to jumpstart recovery. The plan was as simple as it was radical: give fire victims cash, no strings attached. Over the course of six months, every person whose residence was damaged or destroyed in the fire received $10,000 to use as they saw fit. This cash assistance program may have implications for the future of Universal Basic Income.
In February 2018, Daniela Perdomo went to Gatlinburg to investigate, and produced this short documentary as a companion piece to her long-form feature, The Great Equalizer: What Dolly Parton & a Tennessee Wildfire Can Teach About UBI.
“The Great Equalizer” (An IN THE MESH Production)
DANIELA PERDOMO & EYAL DIMANT
SAM DE GRACIA
“MY PEOPLE, MY MOUNTAINS” BY DOLLY PARTON (Courtesy Dolly Parton)
With thanks to
THE DOLLYWOOD FOUNDATION
MOUNTAIN TOUGH RECOVERY PROJECT
THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE
This film is dedicated to
THE PEOPLE OF GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE