Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern
Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher, filmmakers.
This documentary of Iowa farmers trying to hold on to their land in difficult economic times is an oft-told story and there is nothing new here. I have probably seen three other documentaries just like it on Nightline, Dateline, Whateverline, on TV. This won at Sundance, and has rave reviews from newspapers quoted on the box. Maybe you have to be from the Midwest to appreciate it. I did five years in the Midwest and was never so glad to get away from a place. The subtitle of the movie is accurate: this film captures the simple, dull, plodding, sentimental, unself-aware life of a Midwest farm community. The scenery and photography are notably good. The gritty, kitschy, unaesthetic settings are absolutely real. Food, clothing, furniture, language – every detail of the ghastly culture is captured. It is a well-made documentary about a tired topic.