Sara Swanson

River Raisin Watershed Council to host Look & See: A Cinematic portrait of writer, farmer and activist Wendell Berry

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From LOOK & SEE.

The River Raisin Watershed Council (RRWC) is hosting a screening of the award-winning Sundance documentary LOOK & SEE, a powerful cinematic portrait of Wendell Berry—farmer, activist, and one of America’s most significant living writers. The film will be screened on Monday, August 14, 7:30 pm, at The Adrian Theater (details below). Tickets must be reserved in advance. The film is 80 minutes long and there will be a short discussion afterwards.

Members of the RRWC, including Manchester’s Sybil Kolon, vice-chair of the River Raisin Watershed Council, saw an earlier screening of LOOK & SEE, and worked to have it shown locally. “We have been working with farmers for several years to support their conservation efforts. I think this film will resonate with farmers, and help others understand some of the struggles farmers face,” Kolon stated.`

This documentary examines how farming has changed over the past 50+ years, and how those changes have affected our rural communities. It questions our reliance on an industrial approach to farming, and the RRWC hopes it will stimulate meaningful discussion as part of their Farmer-Led Conservation initiative.

Kolon explains, “In 1965, Wendell Berry returned home to Henry County, Kentucky, where he bought a small farmhouse and began a life of farming, writing and teaching. This lifelong relationship with the land and community would come to form the core of his prolific writings. A half century later Henry County, like many rural communities across America, has become a place of quiet ideological struggle. In the span of a generation, the agrarian virtues of simplicity, land stewardship, sustainable farming, local economies and rootedness to place have been replaced by a capital-intensive model of industrial agriculture characterized by machine labor, chemical fertilizers, soil erosion and debt – all of which have frayed the fabric of rural communities. Berry has watched this struggle unfold, becoming one of its most passionate and eloquent voices in defense of agrarian life.”

Filmmaker Laura Dunn skillfully weaves Berry’s poetic and prescient words with gorgeous cinematography and the testimonies of his family and neighbors, all of whom are being deeply affected by the industrial and economic changes to their agrarian way of life. “It’s a conversation that is more urgent now than ever, where urban consumers remain so completely disconnected from the rural producers whose work sustains their very lives,” says director Laura Dunn. “Wendell shows us with extraordinary sensitivity, just what fidelity to a place and to one’s own community can truly mean.”

Robert Redford, Terrence Malick, and Nick Offerman served as producers on LOOK & SEE, which, following its award-winning 2016 premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, was re-titled, updated and re-released at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

“Everyone who eats should see this film.  It will make you think about how your choices affect what farmers do,” Kolon concluded.

SCREENING DETAILS:
Date/Time: Monday, August 14, 2017, 7:30 PM
Location: MJR Adrian Digital Cinema, 3150 N Adrian Hwy, Adrian, MI 49221
Cost: $13
Tugg Ticket Link: https://www.tugg.com/events/look-and-see-rtme
Note: the film will be shown only if enough people reserve their seats by August 7.

From LOOK & SEE.

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