Supposedly, the Mayans predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012. A news report that quickly went viral said that Bugarach, a small village of 200 in France, was the only place where one could escape the impending apocalypse. Bugarach the documentary shows what such a rumor can bring about. In early December 2012, things really started getting busy around the eponymous mountain behind the village. People seeking to escape the apocalypse arrived in ever-greater numbers in campers, bringing batik cloths, singing bowls and consciousness-expanding substances. It’s like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one resident of Bugarach complains of this eccentric invasion. As the town hall’s answering machine fills up with inquiries about apartments for rent and the availability of bomb shelters, the residents demand that the mayor seal off the village. In the meantime, Bugarach’s village idiot joins forces with a local magician named Slide to prepare for their very own spectacle on that fateful December 21. Director Ventura Durall and his team filmed developments in Bugarach from May 2012 onward. The painstaking camerawork with beautiful long shots, masterful editing and music capture the tensions between the sober, headstrong locals and the exotic strangers who flood into this quiet little place. There’s also a magnificent lead role for the silent mountain in the background.