This documentary is a journey into our own fascination, a collection of portraits of folk musicians living in New England, and a study of the ground on which their music is founded. We listen to them as they tell their stories and play their music. First and foremost, Behind a Hill is a tribute to these musicians and a rare peep into the house parties and basement jams of New England, in the northwestern corner of the USA, with the vain hope attached that maybe you, the viewer, will grow as fond of the music as we have. When we first encountered these musicians, we were overwhelmed by the quality of their musical output. We were entranced by the melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and tempos and every other element that constitutes a song (or, as is often the case, a piece of abstract drone music, heavy feedback, or someone banging a steel pipe against a bag of dirt while chanting in a yet undiscovered language, or...).
Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare -- in this lush epic set in the 1870s, which finds Algren learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them.
Joe Enders is a gung-ho Marine assigned to protect a "windtalker" - one of several Navajo Indians who were used to relay messages during World War II because their spoken language was indecipherable to Japanese code breakers.