Ron Howard knew Paradise, the northern California town devastated by the most destructive wildfire in California history.
His mother-in-law had lived there and he had visited the town. He had some understanding of its people. Ten days after what became known as the Camp Fire swept through Paradise, killing 85 people and destroying roughly 19,000 buildings, Howard went to see it.
“I've never seen anything like it," he said.
A little over a year later, Howard came to the Sundance Film Festival to premiere “Rebuilding Paradise,” a documentary he directed about the aftermath of the Camp Fire, including the colossal cleanup and rebuilding efforts of the close-knit rural community.
“It's the story of a community, not the story of a fire," Howard said in an interview. “It's a story of a very cruel test.”