Sugar House Yantra
Sugar House Yantra
Sugar House Yantra
Sugar House Yantra

Sugar House Yantra

Regular price $375.00
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    • Directed by: Jared Flesher
    • Released: 2024 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2023
Running Time: 32 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Gender and Sexuality Studies

Smoke rises from the metal chimney of a pine-clad sugar house. Inside, farmer Charlize Katzenbach tends the fire that transforms maple sap into maple syrup.

This is a story about how things change.

When Charlize started tapping maple trees 35 years ago, she appeared to the world as a different person with a different name. In those days she worked as a construction worker, then a shop teacher, then a home builder. “I learned to accept what I had, which was being a male,” she says. Only when she reached her seventh decade did she find it possible to express her true identity as a transgender woman.

In retirement, Charlize’s work is now on her farm, Sweet Sourland, tucked away in a still quiet corner of New Jersey. Here, in addition to producing syrup and raising sheep, she pursues a lifelong passion for creating art. Her specialty is colorful geometric designs painted on unusual canvases such as glass and wood. Meditative pieces that inspire introspection.

“I am finding a certain peace and contentment with life that I never thought possible,” she says.

Sugar House Yantra contemplates rural farming, art, aging, and transgender identity. Charlize’s story reminds us that sweet things take time.



About the filmmaker 



Jared’s short and feature films explore a wide range of environmental subjects, with a focus on wildlife conservation and human sustainability. He has been called “New Jersey’s leading environmental documentarian” by the NJ Society of Professional Journalists. In 2022, his film Pine Mud won the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Documentary.

Jared is a former editor of Edible Jersey magazine, and has contributed reporting to news outlets such as the New York Times Online and Wall Street Journal Online. He regularly creates multimedia content for the Princeton University Office of Sustainability.

He lives with his wife and two daughters in Central New Jersey.


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