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ABOUT THE FILM

Still from Monrovia, Indiana

“I thought a film about a small farming community in the Midwest would be a good addition to the series I have been doing on contemporary American life. Monrovia, Indiana appealed to me because of its size (1,063 residents), location (I have never shot a film in the rural Midwest) and the shared cultural and religious interests within the community. During the nine weeks of filming the residents of Monrovia were helpful, friendly and welcoming and gave me access to all aspects of daily life. Life in big American cities on the east and west coasts is regularly reported on and I was interested in learning more about life in small town America and sharing my view.” -- FREDERICK WISEMAN, DIRECTOR
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Located in mid-America, MONROVIA, INDIANA, founded in 1834, is primarily a farming community. The film is about the day-to-day experiences living and working in Monrovia, with emphasis on community organizations and institutions, religion, and daily life in this farming community.

Forty-six million Americans live in rural, small town America. These towns were once the backbone of American life. While their number and populations have shrunk, the importance of rural America as a formative center of American politics and values was demonstrated in the 2016 presidential election. To understand more about American life, it is important acknowledge the unique and important contributions small towns make to American character and culture, in addition to providing most of our food, raw materials and drinking water.

The film explores the conflicting stereotypes and illustrates how values like community service, duty, spiritual life, generosity and authenticity are formed, experienced and lived. The film gives a complex and nuanced view of daily life in Monrovia and provides some understanding of a rural, mid-American way of life that has always been important in America but whose influence and force have not always been recognized or understood in the big cities on the east and west coasts of America and in other countries.

POSTCARDS FROM MONROVIA

Scroll through a slideshow from the film.

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING

Read what the critics have to say about MONROVIA, INDIANA

Frederick Wiseman Biography

Since 1967, Frederick Wiseman has directed 44 documentaries.