October Country

October Country

October Country

  No day is better suited as a metaphor for the dark side of the American dream as Halloween, that night between 31 October and 1 November, in the wake of the ghosts of the past to life and haunted by the small towns of the valiant and rural America. The spirits who feel Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s documentary October Country afterwards, of course, are not fictional creatures from inexpensive baubles and glitter, in which small-town kids begging for sweets and teens, but real horrors of a desolate, “White Trash” – family. The Mosher, one of which tells this sad, beautiful, tender and brutal film, they are the family of the photographer and co-director Donal Mosher.

When it has just begun, no one can say in retrospect. Although it seems as though the Vietnam War, at least partly to blame. Moved into the Don, the head of the family of Mosher’s at age 18 and came back a changed man. Still, he had been told his wife, lost in thought, only a ghost of a young man whom she had met prior to the war effort and love. There are other factors that may have led to the gradual decline of the family. In the Mohawk County, New York, a land that is almost entirely by a single employer, the arms manufacturer Remington, dependent, it is downhill for years.

The downward spiral continues in the families inside. The Mosher’s located right in the middle of the madness of teenage pregnancies, alcohol, debt, unemployment and incipient neglect. For a year, from Halloween to Halloween Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher accompanied the family and painted a good picture of eroding American workers, how could it not be alarming. Still waving proudly in the front yard, the American flag, but the reality behind the facade long believed no one in the American dream. October Country is a sobering film about failed life plans and the escape from the gray reality. And not until the very end, there is a little bit of hope that the Mosher perhaps might be possible to escape the vortex.

Thus, the ideal conditions to explore the family cycle, thanks to Donal Mosher direct access are, at the end of this cinematic family constellation and necromancy, many questions remain. What is not only due to the rapid, sometimes vague and mumbled dialect heavily inked Sprachduktus of Mosher’s, but also because the film, for example Donal’s role within the desolate clans are marginalized. When Desi at one point the film expresses the wish that she hoped to be the first of the family, who breaks out of the destructive cycle of violence, unemployment and despair, one wonders involuntarily if they have not already succeeded Donal this exit.

Sure it may have been a deliberate decision by the two filmmakers, Donal keep out of this extremely painful for him film as an object of contemplation. Against this background, statements sound like those of Desi, however false and distorting the picture of a family that just begins to confront its ghosts. Whether they will be so successful, is still in the stars. As Donal but confesses that are now – caused by the film – made the first steps.

October Country is like a song by Vic Chesnutt – sad, broken, broken, and somewhere yet captivating.

(Joachim Kurz)

The film was shown on the DOK Leipzig -Festival in 2009 and is in Wiesbaden Festival exground on screen 2009 to be seen. Whether he will do also a German Releasedate is currently still open.

Title: October Country Country of production: USA Year of production: 2009 Length: 83 (min)

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