United States • 1h 47m
Directed by Rob Nilsson & John Hanson • Documentary • With Henry Martinson • 1980 • 108 minutes
PRAIRIE TRILOGY is a compilation of three documentaries made with funds from the North Dakota Humanities Council and N.D. AFL-CIO between 1977 and 1980 by two extraordinary filmmakers who found a voice for North Dakota in Henry Martinson. In two hours, PRAIRIE FIRE, REBEL EARTH and SURVIVOR together give a sweeping interpretation of the North Dakota experience. As Don Morrison said in the Minneapolis Star upon the release of REBEL EARTH, “Hanson and Nilsson could give lessons to fellow documentarists – principally in the art of simplicity, of letting bone-plain appearances and the calm of truly strong personalities carry the message, polemic or otherwise. Henry and his old North Dakota friends are their perfect textbook, making a stormy past all the more vivid by recalling it in present tranquility, reaffirming unchanged faith best by laughing at the troubles they had in pursuit of it.” PRAIRIE FIRE It is 1916 on America’s Northern Plains. The farmers have broken the grip of Eastern Business and formed the Nonpartisan League. Organized to fight the abuses of Eastern grain, banking and railroad trusts, the League mobilizes thousands of famers in a grassroots movement which quickly spreads throughout the West, sets up a system of state-owned banks, packinghouses, mills and elevator, elects legislators in 13 state, and governs North Dakota for six stormy years. Victimized by World War I hysteria, the Red Scare and internal dissention, the Nonpartisan League loses its power in 1922. But it is alive again in PRAIRIE FIRE, not only a story of a time in American history when farmers organized to protect their way of life, but a story for America today. PRAIRIE FIRE is narrated by a surviving League organizer, 97 year-old Henry Martinson, and uses period stills and footage...
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Route One/USA (part 2)
Directed by Robert Kramer • Documentary • 1990 • 129 minutes
Part 2 of 2
In 1988, nearly a decade after leaving the US for France, renegade filmmaker Robert Kramer returns. “Back,” he emphasizes. Not “home.” To try to understand the contemporary United States, he decides to travel the entire le...