The Film & More
"I was raised on Westerns. Red River
, High Noon
--where the bad guys sometimes won but never prevailed. Our
film is a Midwestern. It's the story of my family's farm in Iowa: From
crossing the Mississippi by covered wagon in 1867 to driving to Daddy Date
Night in 1967. From my great-grandfather fighting off the Crooked Creek Gang
in the 1880's to my father fighting off foreclosure in the 1990's."
--Filmmaker Jeanne Jordan
In the spring of 1990, Jeanne Jordan's father Russel called Jeanne and her
husband, Steven Ascher, in Boston and announced that he might very well be
facing his last year of farming. Jeanne and Steven were in shock.
The farm that Russel and Mary Jane Jordan worked and lived on had been in the
family for 125 years. It had survived the dust bowl, the Depression, two world
wars, and the economically turbulent 1980's. Now Russel and Mary Jane were
doing all they could simply to stave off foreclosure.
In Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern
, filmmakers Jeanne Jordan and Steven
Ascher return to the Jordan family farm in Iowa, where a new regional bank has
decided to call in an accumulated $70,000 debt, forcing the family into some
difficult decision making. During these days of soul searching and discussion,
Jordan and Ascher filmed life on the farm as it took place. There was no
script. There were no re-enactments.
Though Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern
is a deeply personal film,
narrated with effective understatement by daughter and filmmaker Jeanne Jordan,
the story it tells is universal. It is a story of passages, and the undeniable
sweep of changing times. It is also a story of how family and community ties
can be maintained, and even strengthened, during the most trying of times.
Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern
was nominated for an Academy Award and
was awarded both the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award for best
documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.
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