Monrovia, Indiana


  • Frederick Wiseman

  • 2018
    • United States
  • 143 min
  • Colour
  • PRODUCTION
  • Civic Film, Zipporah Films

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Monrovia is a town of around 1,000 people (according to the 2010 census) about a 30-minute drive southwest on I-70 from Indianapolis (according to Google Maps). Wiseman and his crew spent time there in what looks like the summer and fall, judging from the changing color of the ripening corn. There are picturesque, pastoral glimpses of cloud-flecked skies and green fields (the cinematographer is John Davey) that suggest the unchanging cycles of rural life.
[...] It is, after all, about a slice of red-state America at a time of fierce political polarization. In the wake of the 2016 election, traveling to Monrovia — a mostly white town in the vice president’s home state — is hardly an idle or random decision, and the unavoidable political implications of Monrovia, Indiana give its observations an undeniable urgency.
That may fade in the future, as the film takes its place in the canon of American vernacular art. In the meantime, what’s most striking is how far the national issues that dominant the news media seem from daily life in Monrovia. You can’t say that Wiseman tries to avoid those issues. He plants himself in a gun shop, an Evangelical church and the kind of diner where journalists like to go to test the faith of Trump voters.
A.O. Scott, The New York Times, 25 Octobre 2018

  • Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman is an american cinematographer, born in 1930 Boston, MA. He is director, screenwriter, producer, editor and sound-engineer for his films. As a documentarian, his focus has been on the social depiction of the great american institutions. His filmography reads as the exploration of the contradictions between the american mythology of freedom and equal opportunity, and its concrete reality of racial and class segregation. 

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