We connect the dots between the mysterious characters and plot of Eric Church’s elaborate film “San Destino Rising.”
Having trouble figuring out what is going on in Eric Church‘s videos? Who’s getting buried and why in the video for “Give Me Back My Hometown”? Or why those kids are holding hands at a graveyard in “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.”
You’re not alone.
Unless you’ve been living in Eric Church’s trailer, you might not know about the grand plans behind his album The Outsiders. They are twofold. First, Church set out to create an album that is meant to be listened to from cover to cover–no skipping around, no shuffle.
The second grand plan that Church and his team brewed up was the creation of an entire world around the album. This includes a setting, cast of characters, backstory and a plot. If that sounds like the recipe for a movie to you, you’re spot on. It all started with this teaser for his album back in late 2013.
Church is tempting the fans. Daring them to work out clues and telling them to “focus on the background.”
But then Church really begins building his story. The viewer is teased with “Give Me Back My Hometown,” left with questions after watching the music video. What, exactly, is going on? Has Eric Church finally lost it?
No. He’s more with it than ever. He followed this single up with a short movie called San Destino Rising: Movimiento De Una. The movie explains what happened in the music video and officially introduces viewers into the world Church is creating: a town called San Destino.
Movimiento De Una fills in the blanks in the video for “Give Me Back My Hometown,” but it poses plenty of questions of its own. It starts in 2014 at Mayra’s burial but then jumps back in time to 2012 when a desperate Jenny agrees to do whatever Mayra says. Throughout the clip, Mayra is shown bullying others, which makes the viewer wonder why these people are at her burial at all. And if she is really in there.
A few more teasers like the original show a gloved hand tracing clues. But these seem to be Church’s way of making tour announcements and drumming up mystery about his music. It’s unclear if they are related to San Destino.
Next up: “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.”
This video doesn’t add much to the story. It seems to introduce the backstory of Jenny and Modesto, the wispy-haired mechanic (?). Are these the kids in the video? Are they together now?
Entre “San Destino Rising: Movimiento De Dos.”
Turns out the wispy-haired mechanic is actually a car thief. This 20-minute expansion on San Destino throws the viewer deep into its criminal underbelly with characters who are surprisingly sympathetic. Well, at least a couple of them. In “Dos” more new characters are introduced, notably Zachary, the manager of the El Madrid bar.
Finally, San Destino Rising: Movimiento De Tres.
This is a quick 3-minute clip. There’s murder. There’s intrigue. There’s the possibility of a budding romance. Check out the San Destino homepage to follow along.
So that’s where the story is at now. After releasing two music videos, “Cold One” and “Talladega,” which don’t seem to fit into the San Destino storyline, the viewer is left wondering when Church will strike again. “Like a Wrecking Ball” seems like an appropriate time.