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Gilbert Ivy and his wife Jewell are farmers. They seem to be working against the odds, producing no financial surplus. Gilbert has lost hope of ever becoming prosperous, but his wife decides to fight for her family.Written by
Epilogue and Hymn
Written by George Winston See more »
Hard Times On The Farm
Thematically comparable to "The Grapes Of Wrath", "Country" pits a modern Iowa farm family against an imperial American government, via oppressive FHA agency bureaucrats, who intend to execute farm foreclosures on rural residents who can't pay back their loans.
The plot focuses on details of the family's everyday life, and the grief the FHA causes. Characters spend a lot of time at the dinner table talking and eating. Outdoor shots feature a typical Midwest farm setting. Absence of background music in some segments, detailed production design, and ambient sound effects all combine to convey a heightened sense of realism. Overall acting trends well above average. Jessica Lange is quite good as the mother who holds the family together and takes action against the FHA.
On the other hand, the setting and the characters tend to be stereotypical and shallow, except perhaps for the father.
Good editing keeps the plot moving. Even so, I don't think this film would fly today. It's too quiet, too introspective, too slow for modern, especially urban, viewers. Which is unfortunate, because the film speaks to ordinary people regardless of whether they live in cities or on farms.
Politically, I'm afraid that not a lot has changed in America since this film was released in 1984. Imperial institutions still oppress and tyrannize. And films like "Country", "The Grapes Of Wrath", and others, effectively document this tragic historical reality.
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