Directed by Steven Ascher, Jeanne Jordan. USA. 1962.
Narrated by Ms. Jordan (in a surprisingly unemotional manner), the Aschers filmed events as they took place and what they saw is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The director explains, "I was raised on Westerns. Red River, High Noon, Gunsmoke - where the bad guys sometimes won but never prevailed. Our film is a Midwestern. It's the story of my family's farm in Iowa: From crossing the Mississippi by covered wagon in 1867 to driving to Daddy Date Night in 1967. From my great-grandfather fighting off the Crooked Creek Gang in the 1880's to my father fighting off foreclosure in the 1990's."
To keep the land that
had been in the family's name for 125 years and still pay off the bank,
the Jordans came up with a unique solution. They would auction off their
livestock, machinery, and household goods and move to town while their
son Jim and his family ran the farm as tenants. Watching the parents go
through the trauma of selling off household goods that had been in the
family for generations is sad (I can't even handle garage sales) but their
courage and determination keeps it upbeat. This is not only the story of
a family in crisis, it is also a story of growing old, letting go, and
moving on. Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern is a personal story with
a special feeling for the rural Midwest and a disappearing way of life
that has a universal appeal.
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