In 1927, in Kingdom County, Vermont, a large dam is to be built, however, Noel Lord, a logger and cedar-oil harvester, won't give up his lifetime lease on land that will be flooded. The dam...
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In 1927, in Kingdom County, Vermont, a large dam is to be built, however, Noel Lord, a logger and cedar-oil harvester, won't give up his lifetime lease on land that will be flooded. The dam company increases its offer of cash, but Noel refuses. He asks for a trade: a stand of pines for his lease. The company rejects that deal, but offers to make Noel a Ranger in a new park. Noel, meanwhile, talks with his Indian mate, the spirited Bangor, about their moving to Oregon and buying a saw mill. She wants him to take the company's money, but he's pig-headed. Is Noel headed for confrontation with the company and the law, or can Bangor prevail to affect a truce?Written by
A magnificently textured and sublimely performed portrait of rural life in 1920's Vermont.
Jay Craven's criminally ignored film is a sober breath of fresh air in the generally narcissistic and derivative world of independent film. First off, the photography is pure aesthetic pleasure, capturing all of the gloomy beauty of Northern New England in late autumn (Cinematographer Paul Ryan did 2nd Unit on Malick's Days of Heaven). Second, the performances are uniformly excellent - Rip Torn's Noel Lourdes is irascibly charming and Tantoo Cardinal's Bangor is at once sensitive and exuberant, to say nothing of a fine supporting cast. Overall though, it is a tribute to the narrative strength of the film that the story maintains a strong and lively pace while still unfolding in its own time, and the film comes to a conclusion, natural and genuine, that nevertheless does not seem expected. This is one of the rare cells of dignity in the independent film world, a film that explores a small piece of the intersection between humans and history.
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