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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Why Has He Forsaken Them?
24 May 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Like Michael Apted's 'Up' films, this film could be used as a marker for the changes in the lives of individuals and of a community. Most of the film takes place in 1979, so the plot summary here is somewhat misleading. Only about 15 minutes of the film covers what eventually happened when Reaganomics had taken its toll on family-owned farms and businesses. The bulk of the film stands on its own as an amazing model for people who might not realize the outstanding qualities that 'everyday life' seems to offer. Somehow, Malle makes the most mundane places and 'unexceptional' people seem quite fascinating. He allows us to focus on things our eyes never notice or that we try not to see (the scene in a home for the aged is particularly powerful). Some might see the charm of this 1979 community as being antiquated even for 1979, but I can only feel great remorse for all of those families that are now working for the Wal-Marts, Costcos and corporate farms. Those quaint town squares are undoubtedly strip malls now, and companies like Monsanto probably own most of the farms. For those who want to see the beginnings of where the American dream failed; this is a good place to begin your search.


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