“The Blood in this Town” features the inspirational journey of Rutland, Vermont, a struggling blue-collar town now rallying to revitalize and re-invent itself – creating a blueprint for change that can be shared with ailing towns and cities across America.
The film is a portrait of a small town in America, and of an America at pivotal crossroads – where past glories and fading industrial power collide head-on with the urgent need to envision new ways forward. Once a boomtown built on railroads and manufacturing, Rutland is like thousands of small towns and cities left behind by globalization. Rutland grapples with the loss of manufacturing jobs, rising poverty and the flight of young people. Here, the old America is broken, it’s gone and it’s not coming back. Yet this town has mustered a profound response to uncertain times.
"The Blood in this Town" chronicles Rutland's drive to revitalize, using the town's remarkable Gift-of-Life blood drive to explore how a rust-belt town can rebuild from the grassroots up. Rutland’s act of giving blood in record-breaking numbers becomes a powerful symbol of renewal and social change that radiates throughout the community. The film reveals local citizens taking the lead to experiment with fresh ideas and new models – creating sustainable businesses, world-class recreation, farm-to-table networks, boot-strap start-ups, and the rebirth of a historic downtown.
Today, this town of 15,000 is re-exploring America’s identity and future. Tackling the heavy lifting of community-building and turnaround, Rutland offers new models for a nation desperately seeking transformation.