Nomadland – Budget of $4 – 6 million – 1 hour and 48 minutes
After the USG Corporation plant in Empire, Nevada closed down in 2012, Nevada discontinued their zip code. While many moved on and created connections in a new town, newly widowed Fern decided to take her life in a different direction. She wasn’t ready to retire, but home felt lonely without her husband. So Fern packed up her van, added some hidden features, and started her journey down the road. She takes odd jobs to pay for her overnight parking spots, food, and laundry mat fees. At the Amazon distribution center, Linda Mae tells Fern about the RTR or Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. It’s a vandweller meet-up hosted by Bob Wells. The rendezvous is for people like Fern, who are not homeless but choose to be without a home. They meet in the desert and exchange tips about living out of vans, RVs, and cars. After the rendezvous, Fern heads down the road. Fern has no idea she will see these people again, and they will help, impact, and define her and her choices in life.
Based on Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, at first, it’s hard to figure out the plot of the movie (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). However, this movie is all about Fern opening up and allowing people to glimpse inside her world. The nomads she meets at the RTR try to welcome her into the fold but she declines. But after a flat tire and a few cold nights, Fern discovers she needs these social connections. During a campfire, people talk about what caused them to choose this life. And that’s the most compassionate part of the movie because living in a van, RV, or car could be a choice. This film is a calming watch, but you won’t have the urge to buy it.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
We are the bitches of the Badlands – Fern