Cinema Q: October Country
USA, 2009, 80 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming of Age, Documentary, Social Issues, Womens Issues
Winner! Special Jury Prize For Filmmaking - Maysles Brothers Documentary Award Jury at the 32nd Starz Denver Film Festival
Digital presentation - Against the autumnal backdrop of burnt orange leaves barely clinging to branches, an all-too-achingly familiar portrait of a working-class family in crisis emerges. Though inspired by the work of photographer Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri stood behind the lens for their collaborative effort, which the pair codirected, coproduced, and even co-composed (Palmieri also edited) in the course of exploring the ghosts that haunt rural America in general and the Moshers in painful particular.
Matriarch Dottie says it all in the opening sequence: “If you don’t have family, you don’t have anything.” The phrase echoes as their story unfolds, rife with war trauma, teenage pregnancy, domestic and sexual abuse, and foster care. How can the debilitating cycle be broken? As father Don asks, “Is this the real me, or is this what I’ve been created as?” Spanning a year, from one October to the next, this bittersweet documentary chronicles the attempts of his family to answer such questions, desperate but seemingly powerless as they are to break free of the poverty trap. The Mosher family courageously opens their lives to us; as they bear their burden, we are in turn confronted with the unmistakable truth that , to quote Gandhi, we must all be the change we wish to see in the world.
DIRECTOR: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri
Producer: Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher
Editor: Michael Palmieri
Cinematographer: Michael Palmieri
US Distributor: International Film Circuit
Official Film Website