Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Last Cowboy


Flipping through the channels tonight (all four of them!), I stumbled upon this documentary on PBS' Independent Lens series. And it's one of the best things I've seen in months.

It's about a rancher in South Dakota who had a filmmaker from NYC follow his family around for over twenty years, showing how their lifestyle changes as the economy fluctuates, and as their friends and neighbors migrate off their farms into towns & cities. It's one of the most down-to-earth movies I've ever seen about farm life--neither condescending toward nor romanticizing the lifestyle, just showing how real people live out on the great plains, the good & the bad. And man alive, the rancher (Vern) is a corker--hilarious guy, dark sense of humor, he's got a comment for everything. He reminded me so much of the guys I grew up around here, and of many people I met out in Montana as well.

If you've ever lived in the middle of nowhere, or just have an appreciation for good stories and salt-of-the-earth people, I'd highly recommend this--check out their website to see when it's re-running in your neck of the woods. (I think it'll be on a few times this weekend, and then maybe again in a few months...?)

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