USA, 2009, 93 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming of Age, Documentary, Family Issues, Social Issues
MUST END March 4
Digital presentation - For nine months, directors (and brothers) Turner and Bill Ross focused their lenses on the people of their hometown, Sidney, Ohio. Named for Sidney’s zip code, the resulting documentary zigzags across town boundaries and generational lines to encompass a cast of inhabitants who are characters in their own right. At the Shelby County Fair, Elvis Jr. sings his heart out in a downpour, while a middle-aged mom and her son bicker over their shared pot-smoking habit. Before the big game, the Yellow Jackets – the local high-school football team – recite The Lord’s Prayer. As a hub for townsmen, the barber shop thrives on buzz cuts and gossip. Radio station WMVR’s disk jockey – who narrates the film in matter-of-fact sound bites – says it all: Life here is “simply the way it should be.”
Brilliantly crafted as a series of small moments, this film amounts to something much bigger – a portrait of the trials, tribulations, and celebrations of a small-town America that anyone anywhere can relate to. Trains come and go. A judge running as an incumbent knocks on doors and sweats it out on election night. A nameless adolescent experiences romantic angst with an unseen boyfriend and declares via an overheard cell phone conversation that she, like countless dreamy girls before her, wants her “senior year to be special.” Two crusty old farmers debate the merits of bat guano. Impossibly innocent children race piglets, drive bumper cars, and ride the Ferris wheel at the fair.
A sense of nostalgia naturally emanates from 45365 as a cinematic tribute to home. But so does a sense of the honesty and integrity of its clear-eyed chroniclers, who lift this little town up and out of the Ohio Valley, locating it firmly on the big blue globe.
DIRECTOR: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Producer: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Editor: Bill Ross, (Sound Editor/Mixer) Lawrence Everson
Cinematographer: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
US Distributor: Seventh Art Releasing
Official Film Website