A documentary on Peter Dunning, the proprietor of Mile Hill Farm in Vermont who has isolated himself away from his family and often suggests to the filmmakers to make his own suicide a narrative device.
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Peter Dunning is the proud proprietor of Mile Hill Farm, which sits on 187 acres in Vermont. The land's 38 harvests have seen the arrivals and departures of three wives and four children, leaving Peter with only animals and memories. The arrival of a film crew causes him to confront his history and his legacy, passing along hard-won agricultural wisdom even as he doubts the meaning of the work he is fated to perform until death. Haunted by alcoholism and regret, Peter veers between elation and despair, often suggesting to the filmmakers his own suicide as a narrative device. He is a tragedian on a stage it has taken him most of his life to build, and which now threatens to collapse from under him. At once a postcard from paradise and a cautionary tale for our times, Peter and The Farm sifts through the potential energy of a human life, that which is used and that which is squandered.Written by
I found this documentary on an organic farmer in Vermont who lives and farms alone in his latter years to be rich, moving, and informative. Surrounded by his beautiful acreage, he suffers all the same from loneliness, regret, and a sense of futility. Yet there are days when all 38 years of his efforts seem worth it. A fine character study, and an intriguing look at the life of a farmer in an age when most people live in urban settings and haven't a clue about what's involved in a life spent close to nature and the cycle of seasons.
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