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Program Description

Troublesome Creek "I was raised on Westerns. Red River, High Noon, Gunsmoke--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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Film Credits

Program Description | Program Transcript | Reference


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