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How scorn for rules made Denis Wood a mapmaking luminary – and a sex offender

‘I taught your kids for 25 years, and I’m a registered sex offender.’

Denis Wood is obsessed with challenging boundaries. As a professor at North Carolina State University, he pushed back against conventions in cartography, establishing a reputation as a leading thinker in the field. But in his personal life, his disregard for rules and norms has thrown many lives (including his own) into disarray. In 1996, Wood pleaded guilty to ‘taking indecent liberties with a minor’ following a long-term sexual relationship with a teenager – an offence for which he served two years in jail. Wood, who believes ‘laws are horrible things by and large’, remains mostly unapologetic about his crimes. Unmappable is a challenging portrait that offers no easy answers, and it earned its US filmmakers Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma widespread acclaim on the film festival circuit in 2015.

Directors: Diane Hodson, Jasmine Luoma

11 March 2016

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