Movie Review: Farmland

Posted May 2, 2014 in
Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0


Director: James Moll
D&E Entertainment
In Theaters: 05/02/14

The majority of the population has been assisted by the farming community in one way or another, but what’s interesting is that many of these individuals have never set foot on a farm or know what it takes to be a farmer. Director James Moll hopes to at least alter the latter claim by introducing audiences to the next generation of this culture with candid interviews and onsite exploration into this rustic lifestyle. From pig farmers in Minnesota and cattle ranchers in Texas to vegetable growers in Pennsylvania and organic produce farmers in California, this documentary discusses the trials and tribulations of financially making it as a modern-day landowner, especially with uncontrollable circumstances such as weather and markets. It’s unnerving to witness hard workers have their livelihoods threatened by wild storms and unstable financial structures, which makes this career path not for the lighthearted. The most thought-provoking aspect of the film comes with the debate of utilizing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the old-school vs. new-school viewpoints from growers, but the topic is brushed off just as the subject becomes interesting. While observing Harris Done’s vibrant cinematography is like gazing at a stunning landscape calendar, Moll’s decision to execute portions of these images with multiple musical montages and a 77-minute running time makes the barely feature-length running time appear unnecessary. It could easily be trimmed down for a primetime special on television or converted into a reality show series.