A truly lovely little film from the sadly underrated Malle. As ever, in this documentary about the inhabitants of the small farming town of Glencoe, Minnesota, the director reveals an extraordinary compassion for his subjects, viewed as well-meaning, dignified, but flawed. The gently comic tone of the beginning - happy, united families mowing the lawns, cow inseminators enjoying their literally shitty work, farmboys driving enormous tractors - gradually deepens to a darker hue as the legacies of Vietnam and Reagan are examined, and the tightly-knit community is shown as a breeding-ground of ignorance and intolerance (blacks are absent, gays invisible). Then, for the final 20 minutes, Malle shows us Glencoe six years on: dreams severely damaged, prosperity threatened, newlyweds become prematurely middle-aged. Malle never mocks, merely understands, in this extremely personal document of one European's love-hate for middle America.
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