Directed by Nick Bentgen and Lisa Kjerulff • Documentary • 2013 • 105 minutes
Set against the backdrop of a town's annual snowmobile race, NORTHERN LIGHT explores the working class experience in a series of captivating personal stories of recession-era America. The lives of three families change profoundly in the north woods of Michigan, where winters are unforgiving, jobs are hard to come by, and the line between living life and simply surviving is razor-thin. This cinematic, observational documentary explores the American working class experience through character-based storytelling.
Filmed over the course of several years spent with the film's protagonists, NORTHERN LIGHT is a fresh and vital contribution to the tradition of contemporary American cinema verite.
"Critics' Pick! There's a stillness to the filmmaking, coupled with Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi's truly lovely original score, that lends specific shots—toddlers bundled up like pastel Ewoks on a snowdrift, or a bakery window glowing like a still life in a gallery—a near-heartbreaking melancholy."—Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times