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Filmmaker Joe Winston and his friends drive up an abandoned highway in Nevada, turn off the road at the white "X," where a jolly man with a machine gun welcomes them to the Burning Man Festival.
The annual event attracts thousands of people to a barren desert for one week each summer. They bring their own food, water, and shelter. The ragtag collection of tents and RVs is the setting for an eccentric, colorful bacchanalia.
Far from the watchful eyes of police, revelers adopt "desert names," strut naked, dance in the mud, create religions, race in rocket-powered cars, shoot automatic weapons, or do whatever it is they don't get enough of at home
On the last day, they erect and burn a 40-foot tall human effigy.
The festival founder calls this semi-structured anarchy "a laboratory... for reinventing civilization."