“God bless America and the farmer who feeds your fat ass.”
The latest film by Frederick Wiseman (born 1930), an honorary Oscar winner regarded as one of the most important American documentarians, provides an insight into life in the American countryside. Monrovia, Indiana is a silently political and lyrical depiction of the daily run of things in a smalltown. The neighbourhood is peaceful and the meetings sometimes small but significant: what role does a single park bench play in Monrovia, a town with just over one thousand inhabitants?
There is rhythm both in the film’s skilful editing and in the sales mantra of an auctioneer selling farm equipment. Daily chores accompanied with the clanking and humming of machines create a likely soundscape that is counterbalanced with birds singing and crickets chirping in the cornfields.
There is something very relaxing about watching people go about their daily business. The camera catches a variety of little moments here and there.
The camera runs through schools, local diners and a freemasons’ ceremony. Religion cuts through various functions and layers in the town. The viewer gets an exclusive peek into smalltown life on the fringe of stereotypes. We see the whole cycle of life – from a baby shower to a young couple’s wedding, and finally a funeral.
Anna Parviainen (Translation: Marko Pyhähuhta)
- Director: Frederick Wiseman
- Country: USA
- Year: 2018
- Length: 143 min
- Age limit: K16
- Format: DCP
- Cinematography: John Davey
- Editing: Frederick Wiseman
- Production: Frederick Wiseman / Civic Film LLC
- Kino Regina: Wed 30.1. at 14.00
- Maxim 2: Sun 3.2. at 17.45