After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
Nomadland is an emotionally heavy hitting film that sits you down and has a difficult talk with you about homelessness. it says yes people are homeless yes people lose their Homes yes people lose their jobs and it is a bleak idea to think about but the beauty in this film is it let’s you know during that talk during the duration of this film that these people are okay that they’ll find Community they find peace on the road. I absolutely loved this film I think its s a start of a movement it’s a start of a renewed validation of identity with being a nomad.
The story opens up with A few different unabridged scenes of the main character Fern going to the bathroom on the side of the road, cooking with propane in her van, and working in a factory. Fern is someone who fell victim to a factory closing a few years back and also suffered the death of her husband. Fern is alone as she drives in her van roaming around the badlands of North Dakota and the west coast of the U.S. Many of the scenes in this film seem uncouth in comparison to any other film that hits theaters.
I see it as a polar opposite to Marvel’s brand of movie. Each scene tells it’s own story about simply staying alive on the road. Fern’s emotional arc is the tie that pulls all of the seemingly unrelated scenes together and this film does a brilliant job voicing what it’s like to be in a state of limbo outside of perceived society. It humanizes an unheard of state of mind, as the story goes on Fern is given many opportunities to love and find some peace and she deliberately avoids them. These opportunities can be broken down into three distinct moments. Near the beginning as Fern finishes working at an Amazon factory and living in a RV park, a small puppy is seen outside her van. She takes the dog to the office and finds out her owners abandoned it. Fern is offered to take the dog and refuses. There is no redeeming moment where Fern has a change of heart and comes back for the dog. This moment sets the tone for the film. The emotional ride that Fern takes is amazingly powerful because of how unseen her story is. The next two opportunities she receives end the same way Fern is perpetually stuck in the past, grieving her husband and wandering the road. I absolutely love this film and encourage everyone to go out and see it.
There are few and far between flaws in this movie, There was one part where I realized the movie was a bit preachy and confusing during the scene Fern is at her sisters house and some guys are there who work in real estate. Fern has an argument with them and challenges the reason why they sell homes. Homeless people are not anti-house. That moment was confusing.
Favorite quotes from this movie – “I’m not homeless, I’m houseless” “See you down the road” “Rubber Tramp Rendezvous”
Deep Cinema | Great Story, Important Cultural Film | 10/10