Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky

Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky

  • BY Laura Dunn | IN Literature
    Premiered April 23, 2018

About the Film

Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky is a portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America as seen through the mind’s eye of writer, farmer, and activist Wendell Berry, in his native Henry County, Kentucky, a place mourning the loss of a bygone way of life that was once the cornerstone of America.

Through the poetic and prescient words of the prize-winning author of more than 40 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and the testimonies of his family and neighbors — all deeply affected by the industrial and economic changes to their agrarian way of life — we see the changing landscapes of rural America and the redemptive beauty in taking the unworn path, all in communities trying to maintain their own ties to the land. Look & See is directed by Laura Dunn and executive produced by Terrence Malick and Robert Redford. MORE

The Filmmaker

Laura Dunn started making documentaries in response to her undergraduate experience at Yale University. Through a chronicle of labor strikes on campus, The Subtext of a Yale Education examines the corporatization of higher education. She then returned to her birthplace to make Green, a sobering look at environmental racism along the Mississippi River petrochemical corridor, a.k.a. “Cancer Alley.” Other work includes experimental films Baby, a personal take on population issues, and Become the Sky, an ecological map of power in Texas. Her first feature documentary, The Unforeseen, executive produced by Robert Redford and Terrence Malick, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was released theatrically, and broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky premiered at Sundance and Berlinale, won a Visual Design Prize at SXSW and the Grand Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival. Other honors include a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, Student Academy Award, Yale’s Trumbull Fine Arts Prize, International Documentary Association Pare Lorenz Grant and an Independent Spirit “Truer than Fiction” Award.  She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and six young boys. LESS

Film Credits

Executive Producers
Robert Redford
Terrence Malick

Laura Dunn

Producer/Co-Director/Visual Design
Jef Sewell

Lee Daniel

Sound Recording/Design/Mix
Justin Hennard

Owsley Brown III
Gill Holland
Brenda Mitchell
Elaine Musselman
Nick Offerman

Associate Producers
Lynsey Tamsen Jones
Hugh Schulze

FEATURING (in order of appearance)
Mary Berry
Wendell Berry
Steve Smith
Earl Butz
Mark Roberts
Dale Roberts
Juan Javier Reyes
Curtis Combs
Andy Zaring
Woodrow “Peck” Payton
Michael Douglas
John Logan Brent
Seth Bryant
Tanya Berry

Original Music
Kerry Muzzey

Original Wood Engravings
Wesley Bates

Bradley Hutchinson
Dr. Ludwig Mohr

James Baker Hall
David Peterson
Tanya Berry

Field Producers
Lynsey Tamsen Jones
Marla Quintana
Laura Morton

Spencer Meffert

Additional Cinematography
Sarah Wylie VanMeter
Jef Sewell
Terry Chu

Assistant Camera
Jeff Hatfield
Colemar Nichols
Justin Hennard

Daniel Stuyck

Type Design
Mark Melnick

Archival Research
Mattie Akers

Production Assistants
Bonnie Cecil
Tanya Smith

Letterpress Printing
Gray Zeitz

Spanish Subtitle Translations
Paul Kasper

Jenna Wedgewood
Melody Lovett

Archival Materials Provided by
Associated Press
The Berry Center
Tanya Berry
Griffin Cardwell
Dos Vatos Films
The Bob Edwards Show/Sirius XM
Film Archive
Getty Images
Mark Musick & The Institute for a Small Planet
National Public Radio
NBC Film Archives
David Peterson Photography
University of Kentucky
US Department of Agriculture


Wendell Berry reading from his works:
A Timbered Choir
Imagination in Place
Tobacco Harvest: An Elegy
Window Poems
The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry
W.B. Yeats’ poem “A Second Coming”


Written and performed by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Taken from the album “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven”
Courtesy of Constellation Records

Written by Ludovico Einaudi
Published by G. Schirmer, Inc. (ASCAP) o/b/o Chester Music Ltd. (PRS)

“Blur,” “Broken People” and “Light at the End of the Tunnel” by Kerry Muzzey
Courtesy of Kirbyko Music LLC

“Bird Song”
Written by Heather Masse
Published by Winged Way, BMI
Performed by the Wailin’ Jennys
Instrumental re-mix and engineering by David Travers-Smith
Courtesy of Red House Records & True North Records

“When I Am Old and Gray” by Candlepark Stars
Written by Kerry Muzzey
Courtesy of Kirbyko Music LLC

Hymn 363 “Welcome Happy Morning”
Arrangement by Hanan Townsend

“The City Surf” by Jamin Winans
Written by Jamin Winans
Courtesy of Jamin Winans

“As The Crow Flies”
Written and Performed by Meg Hutchinson

Music Clearance Services provided by Clear Cut, Inc.

Filmed with Arri Alexa and Arri Amira cameras.

Equipment Provided by
GEAR Rental
Camera House
Cabin Hill

Film Restoration
DC Video

Special Thanks
Megan Amram
Leah Bayens
Andrew Bird
Regina Black
Christina Lee Brown
Bo Burnham
Dave Charelton
Winnie Cheuvront
Liz Cook
Rob Delaney
Arwen Donahue, David & Phoebe Waggoner
Edward J. and Georganna Dunn
Sam Elliott
Mary Eubanks
Sean Flynn
Will Forte
Zach Galifianakis
Rosalie Guthrie
Hazelfield Farm
Stephanie Hunt
Stephanie Kertis
Larkspur Press
Virginia Lee
Steve Moore
Megan Mullally
Harriett Peyton
Mark Roberts
Karen Robertstad
Jonathan Rice
Holly Sabiston
Dan Schoenbrun
Doug and Sue Sewell
Jack Shoemaker
Griffin Wylie VanMeter
Cynthia & Charlie Wilcox
Courtney, Carden, Clark and Campbell Willis

The Austin Film Society
Louisville Film Society

Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
IDA Pare Lorentz Grant
Flanny Productions
Keith and Brenda Brodie
Leigh Merinoff
Third Coast Activist
Jennifer and Walter Long
William Street
Andrew Shapter
Tim and Karrie League
Kathleen Zarsky
Michael DiLeo
Robert Jensen
Mark Slaughter
And others. A complete list available from PBS.

LOOK & SEE: WENDELL BERRY’S KENTUCKY is a production of Two Bird Films.

This program was produced by Laura Dunn Productions, LLC d/b/a TWO BIRD FILM, who is solely responsible for its content.

What has been your own experience with farming and have you seen agriculture change over the years? Have things changed for the better, or the worse? Aside from Berry, who are some other writers you think capture the rural experience well?


  • SXSW Film Festival
    Documentary Feature Cinematography
  • SXSW Film Festival
    Grand Jury Award - Nominee
  • Nashville Film Festival
    Best Documentary Feature
  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
    William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award
Please review our comment guidelines.
What has been your own experience with farming and have you seen agriculture change over the years? Have things changed for the better, or the worse? Aside from Berry, who are some other writers you think capture the rural experience well?