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Senior Advisor

Best Farm Movies

Are there any movies about farms, farming, living int he country that you think were well done or touched a chord with you?  Which did you like or not like?  Do you want them raw and gritty, just like it is, or sweet and comforting?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Best Farm Movies

Still thinking on this one Jim.  "Country" with Jessica Lang which I saw on PBS sticks out in my mind and "the River" which was about the same time.  Then there was a PBS documentary-I think the name was "The farmers Wife" or something like that.  The ending left your hanging but the struggles were real. 

 

The sweet ones are so idylic.  Makes everyone want the country life.  But I'd just as soon see the real struggle.  Not sadistic.  Like to see a happy ending and solutions that give you hope but a real look at the whole picture.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Best Farm Movies

I remember watching Country as a kid--it was the only film I watched in a movie theater during the 80s. Still sticks in my mind how tough farming really is. The Bridges of Madison County is a blissful movie about a farm wife, but forgets about the farm culture. Are you going to tell me the kids took all the livestock to the fair? Sure tells you about how townfolk know everyone's business though. The Farmer's Wife was filmed in the area and really has a sad ending, but it shows how the business and outside influences can put a lot of strain on a farm family.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Best Farm Movies

As I recall, The Farmer's Wife was a four-episode PBS documentary. It broke my heart to watch that young family struggle.

I think two scenes struck me the hardest...the first was when she was trying to provide a birthday celebration for one of their children. I just couldn't imagine things being that tight.

The other was when the couple sat with the lender, and they were about $100 short of making it. The husband said, very arrogantly, something to the effect of " I could earn that much in a day in town." The loan officer looked at him and said, " Maybe you should have."

It just sunk in very hard that less than a week's worth of groceries for our little family, at that point in time, could be the difference between holding on and having to let go.

The Dust Bowl PBS series was stunning. It helped me understand some of the mindset of the people who went before us in the fields, before there were safety nets and subsidies.

This isn't a " farming" movie, and I cannot say yet whether I like it or not. I am about a fourth of the way into "In Time" with Justin Timberlake.

It is a futuristic piece, about a world where time is the only commodity, truly the only resource. Time is money.

The world is divided into time zones, and you have to have enough of it to enter a better one. I am sure time is a metaphor for opportunity, as it is literally the currency in this one.

We have had a century of being the most blessed nation on Earth, and American agriculture has given us a sense of invincibility. With deals like the Smithfield/Shineway acquisition, that era appears to be coming to a turning point. We may have let too much time slip away.

I will think about the original question...sorry I digressed. Things link up in my mind this...synced synapses.

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Honored Advisor

Not a movie, but...

...am I the only one who loved "Green Acres"?
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Veteran Contributor

Re: Best Farm Movies

I guess that would depend on what you mean by "farm movie."   Except for some of the Hallmark movies in rural settings, which I tend to think of more as romances, I had trouble thinking of something.  So, I did a search for "movies about farm life" and found quite an assortment.  Some, I certainly wouldn't have called farm movies like The Wizard of Oz or In Cold Blood...that one had my mom locking the doors at night for quite awhile. There were animated tales, dog and horse stories for kids, some I would call westerns, and older stories like Anne of Green Gables and The Grapes of Wrath.  I thought Hallmark's A Painted House based on John Grisham's book was a good farm movie.  Most of my favorites are from TV...such as the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie.  Probably the one that came closest to home was Ken Burns Dust Bowl film as my parents lived through that.   Also like the mini-series Centennial about rural northern Colorado and it also contained an episode about the dust bowl.                  

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Best Farm Movies

I remember watching a Made for TV Movie  called "Bitter Harvest" 1981,   staring Ron Howard.   It was a story about a dairy farmer and his wife, who's herd of cows were dying from eating contaminated feed.    I thought at the time it was quite good, not sure if it was based on a true story,  i looked it up a few hours ago on You Tube, but it has been deleted. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Best Farm Movies

don't know how factual the movie was but it was a real event here in Michigan.  PBB, a fire retardant was accidentally mixed in some feed.   Did horrible things to the cows.  Many cows were killed and buried here in Michigan.

As I remember the incident happened in 1973 and was really controversial.  I had my first baby in 1975 and I can remember discussions about whether it was safe for women in Michigan to breast feed their babies because no one really seemed to know what if anything it did to any milk or if any tainted milk had been shipped and what it would do to us if we had consumed milk from those poor animals that were affected.

I can remember pictures of the affected animals.  Bone thin and hoofs grown out about 10 inches and curling up.  Don't know for sure if the hoof thing was an effect of the PBB or just people not taking care of their animals.  Although I suspect it was cause by the fire retardant.

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