Original footage of the prosperous farming community of Glencoe Minnesota, 60 miles west of Minneapolis, was filmed in 1979 for a PBS documentary. But for the next six years Malle was too ... See full summary »

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Original footage of the prosperous farming community of Glencoe Minnesota, 60 miles west of Minneapolis, was filmed in 1979 for a PBS documentary. But for the next six years Malle was too busy with other projects to finish this work. He returned in 1985 for a follow-up and found the community reacting to the mid eighties crisis of overproduction in farm country. with weekly foreclosures on family farms, and many families moving to the south, Malle documented a sense of frustration and apprehension from the same participants he had befriended in better times half a decade earlier. Written by Maple-2

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27 November 1985 (USA)  »

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Le pays de Dieu  »

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This program benefited from a grant by The National Endowment for The Humanities. See more »

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fascinating slices of small town life
11 November 2015 | by See all my reviews

In 1979, French filmmaker Louis Malle goes to the idyllic farming town of Glencoe, Minnesota, 60 miles west of Minneapolis. The friendly people are surprised to find the frenchman filming for public television. It's a town of 80% Germanic origins. On the surface, it's a traditional midwestern utopia where the folks go back generations. Below the surface, the family farm is under stress. In 1985, he returns to finish the film and finds some of the family farms struggling while small town life continues on.

The first 2/3 1979 section is a little slow. It's a lot of various small town folks with some interesting stormy clouds on the horizon. Louis Malle returns 6 years later to find some troubling problems. It's only the last 20 minutes and too short to dig really deeply into the various people. It's reminiscent of the 7-up series. I wish he had expended on the 1985 section and done another one 6 years later. I guess he doesn't have an assistant like Michael Apted who could take over and his death ends any possibility of a follow-up on these folks.


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