On Friday, Jan. 31, Maine Farmland Trust and POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series, will host a screening of “Farmsteaders,” a film by Sheena Mallett, at Sheepscot General in Whitefield.
Clear-eyed and intimate, “Farmsteaders” follows Nick Nolan and his young family on a journey to resurrect his late grandfather’s dairy farm as agriculture moves toward large-scale farming. A study of place and persistence, “Farmsteaders” focuses on everyday life in rural America, offering an unexpected voice for a forsaken people: those who grow the food that sustains people. “Farmsteaders” is a love story, a farm story, and a story of contemporary rural America.
“People don’t really understand the beauty of life if they don’t understand the tragic side of it,” Nolan said. “Everything beautiful is created out of pain.” Nick and Celeste Nolan’s meditations on life, legacy, and resistance offer an unexpected voice at a time when the country is so deeply divided. With much of the current rift falling along demographic lines, there is a deepening discussion about the rural white American. And yet here they stand in contrast to all expectations – heroic, benign, accessible.
“Farmsteaders” points an honest and tender lens at the beauty and hardship of everyday life, as the Nolans work to balance their fears and hopes with so much at stake. For the Nolans, only three things remain certain: family is everything, nothing ever stays the same, and the land holds it all together.
This screening will take place at Sheepscot General, 98 Townhouse Road, Whitefield, from 6-8 p.m. Maine Farmland Trust staffers will lead a discussion after the film, highlighting themes from the film and how they fit into farming in Maine. RSVP: eventbrite.com/e/farmsteaders-screening-at-sheepscot-general-tickets-90336032505.