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God's Country

Director:  Louis Malle
Year Released:  1986
Rating:  2.0

Malle, in 1979, goes to some rinky-dink town in Tundra Country (Glencoe, Minnesota) to get a glimpse at "real Americans" - farmers, cow inseminators, more farmers, a lawyer and his playwright wife, etc. - and how they live (by farming, inseminating cows, eating, acting in terrible plays, etc.). He was never much of a sociologist-filmmaker - he was always very casual, rarely asking deep questions of his subjects or his audience, letting the minutiae do the 'talking' - and his view of Midwestern Living as Emblematic of The American Way is a stretch: when he returns in the mid-80's and Reagan's Reign of Terror is in effect, the farmers are decidedly less happy (despite being registered Republicans). It's fine, I suppose, as a time capsule, but nothing in it really took me by surprise - even the lawyer's closing comment that this Country Won't Stand for Greediness is only worthy of an Eye Roll.

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