A Seer was well-received in its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX. It is an appropriate sequel to Dunn's excellent film Unforeseen about economic development in Austin. The film combines a biographical component of the career, poetry and writings of Kentucky farmer Wendell Berry with an explanation of Berry's political ideas. The film critiques the way in which the small family farm agriculture of a few generations has been pushed aside by modern-industrial mechanized agriculture. The number of farms has decreased and the size of the remaining farms has increased. The percentage of the population working the land has plummeted. The film is an ode to a world that has been lost. It is eloquent, reverential and beautifully filmed. It seems to romanticize the agrarian past without putting it under a critical lens. The film moves slowly and often repetitively. It is ultimately somewhat unfulfilling, because in its eloquence it offers few solutions for the inevitable changes brought on by modernity. It seems to want to encourage farmers to engage in organic farming and encourage local consumption, but it doesn't seem to offer any real pathway for getting to that end. Its meandering style is also somewhat frustrating since it has few real answers. It just seems to be backwards looking. Still, it is beautifully filmed and those that are sympathetic to its agenda will find it enjoyable if they are patient with it.
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