Monday, December 25, 2017

A list of 'best films' about 25 professions recalls a better one naming the best movies about farming

Kevin Costner played a farmer in "Field of Dreams" (1989).
The Washington Post's selection of the 10 best movies about journalism prompted the newspaper to round up some experts — just one for each profession — to declare the best movies about other professions. Since the first list didn't include any pictures with a rural angle, here are the pickers and the picks for two rural lines of work, farming and mining.

Phil Smith, director of government affairs and longtime spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America, told the Post that the best movie about coal mining is "Matewan," a 1987 film about a West Virginia coal strike almost 100 years ago that led to the greatest use of military force against American civilians.

"The story is about miners who decided to organize . . . the real life and death struggle it took to make improvements in their lives," Smith writes. "My favorite scene is a meeting scene. James Earl Jones stands up with that voice, and makes an argument about how they should be working together and working toward the same goal. Sometimes the most thrilling part of a movie can still just be a speech."

To choose the best movie about farming, someone at the Post picked Breanna Holbert, a student at California State University, Chico, and president of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America. She selected "Charlotte's Web," a 1973 film full of talking animals and starring a spider who saves a pig from slaughter.

"My brother is 8. He loves this movie and I do, too," Holbert writes. "There are a lot of small players in the agricultural industry, small farmers, who get overlooked — but then they end up pushing the big players to move forward, to try and experience new things. Those small players are the Charlottes. We need Charlottes."

Farm and Dairy, an agricultural paper in eastern Ohio, picked the best films about farming four years ago. They included "Charlotte's Web," and "Places in the Heart" a 1984 film starring Sally Field, but higher on the list came "Grapes of Wrath" (1940), from John Steinbeck's novel about Oklahoma farmers becoming migrant workers in California; "Babe" (1995), also about a pig, one that herds sheep; and "Field of Dreams" (1989), starring Kevin Costner as an Iowa farmer who "builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield," Will Flannigan wrote. "The ghosts of legendary baseball players then come to the field every night to play."

Also on the Farm and Dairy list is a 2005 documentary, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," about John Peterson, a Northern Illinois farmer who operates Angelic Organics. the largest community-supported agriculture business in the U.S. "Peterson is an outcast in his community who turns his family’s farm around by taking his family traditions and combining them with art and free expression," Flannigan wrote.

1 comment:

LarryDreiling said...

I like “Amber Waves” a movie about custom harvesters. It stars Dennis Weaver, with Mare Winnngham and Kurt Russell. Beautifully photographed.