155 - Frances McDormand in Nomadland

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Frances McDormand talks about her extraordinary new film—Nomadland directed by Chloe Zhao, based on the nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving in the Twenty First Century by Jessica Bruder. A tale for our times.

The story centers on the very “now” many Americans find themselves in. People uprooted from their old jobs and old neighborhoods, places they've called home for decades, now living in DIY customized vans, migrating for work with the seasons. Christmas near the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Virginia, the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota, cleaning latrines and being campground hosts in National Parks. They were already on the road by the thousands before the pandemic uprooted even more.

Frances McDormand plays Fern, a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, sets out on a journey through the Midwest living as a van-dwelling itinerant worker — a modern day nomad.

Frances talks about the making of the film and her experiences in the van-dwelling community with clips from director Chloe Zhao, author Jessica Bruder, van-dwelling guru Bob Wells, and clips from the film.

“…Zhao’s fable speaks to us, in 2020, as John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath did to audiences eighty years ago.” Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

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