My Country No More
Directed by Rita Baghdadi, Jeremiah Hammerling • Documentary • 2019 • 70 minutes
Between 2011 and 2016, drilling for oil in America reached an unprecedented peak, setting off a modern day gold rush in one of the most rural communities in the country: Trenton, North Dakota. Kalie Rider and her older brother Jed are both striving to rebuild farming in their family, having suffered the foreclosure of their parents' farm during the traumatic 1980s farm crisis.
When their uncle Roger makes a decision to sell a piece of his land, it sets off a domino effect of industrialization in Trenton. Now, with the church being eyed for a diesel refinery, the community becomes riven by competing interests. While Jed faces the possibility of having to uproot his young family and move away, Kalie learns to organize and resist.
Through its lyrical core, the film challenges the notion of 'progress' as it questions the long term human consequences of short term approaches to land use, decisions that ultimately affect all Americans, rural and urban alike.