Directed by: Liz Marshall
Released: 2019 (educational)
Year of Production: 2018
Running Time: 80 min
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Religion and Spirituality, Sociology, Women's Studies
If it had happened in America, Midian Farm would be a Hollywood script. Instead, its legacy is memorialized through a compelling point-of-view historical Canadian documentary. From 1971 – 1977, Midian Farm was a back-to-the-land social experiment created by a community of urban baby boomers from Toronto. Part of the youth counterculture movement during a period of social and political re-imagining, its utopian vision eventually collapsed. More than four decades later, filmmaker Liz Marshall unearths a transformative piece of family and Canadian history.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
"A charming 1970s period piece about the rise and decline of a collective of youthful idealists in rural Ontario, Midian Farm raises complex issues about how difficult it is to achieve radical change in North American society. On the surface, this mainly archival film evokes the conversations, debates, music, farming and even the architectural styles of the time. Beneath, one encounters the fissures between the ideas which had currency in that era—freer gender interaction, true Christian principles, collective responsibility—and the realities that had to be overcome. Liz Marshall, the director, whose parents—particularly her father--were the farm’s leaders, is forced to investigate their own break-up, which presaged that of the collective. Marshall’s Midian Farm evokes the past in the best way possible: by honoring its principles, in an attempt to understand what didn’t work and what was achieved." - Marc Glassman, Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University & Editor, POV Magazine
"Liz Marshall's Midian Farm is a fascinating personal journey that gives us an intimate look at the dreams and disappointments surrounding an idealistic life experiment." - Chris Hegedus, Pennebaker Hegedus Films
"A very personal act of excavation and reclamation that speaks to the ideals and disappointments of a generation." - Tom Charity, Vancouver International Film Festival
"Through beautiful footage, Midian Farm reveals the contours of a Christian rural utopian community in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies. Amidst the warmth of a southern Ontario summer, the reunion of many of its members plumbs the depths of what it means to have hope and work hard for a vision while revisiting the site to see the poignant kindled flame four decades later." - Dr. Christopher Ross, Clinical Psychologist, Emeritus Associate Professor in Psychology and Religion, Wilfrid Laurier University
About the Filmmaker - Liz Marshall
Liz Marshall is an award-winning Canadian film and television director based in Toronto. Since the 1990s she has written, directed, filmed and produced independent documentaries and been part of film and television teams, creating broadcast, theatrical, and cross-platform productions shot around the globe. She is known for the critically acclaimed feature documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine (2013), Water On The Table (2010) and for Midian Farm (2018). She is currently completing Meat the Future, to be released in 2020.
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