Gari Melchers Home and Studio will host a screening of an award-winning Sundance documentary from executive producers Robert Redford and Terrence Malick.
Look & See, a powerful cinematic portrait of Wendell Berry—farmer, conservation activist and undoubtedly one of America’s most significant living writers–will be screened on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. in the Pavilion at Gari Melchers Home and Studio.
The screening is free of charge, made possible by Dickinson Equipment, Inc., of Fredericksburg.
Look & See showcases the story of 81-year old Wendell Berry, whose eloquent poems and essays regarding the decline of family farming and the displacement of small-town farming communities to modern mass agriculture helped earn him the 2016 Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature.
In 1965, Wendell Berry returned home to Henry County, Kentucky, where he bought a small farmhouse and began a life of farming, writing and teaching. This lifelong relationship with the land and community would come to form the core of his prolific writings. A half century later, Henry County, like many rural communities across America, has become a place of quiet ideological struggle. In the span of a generation, the agrarian virtues of simplicity, land stewardship, sustainable farming, local economies and rootedness to place have been replaced by a capital-intensive model of industrial agriculture characterized by machine labor, chemical fertilizers, soil erosion and debt–all of which have frayed the fabric of rural communities. Berry has watched this struggle unfold, becoming one of its most passionate and eloquent voices in defense of agrarian life.
Often called “a prophet for rural America,” Berry has long been a voice for the communities that are so often overlooked by the media. Filmmaker Laura Dunn skillfully weaves Berry’s poetic and prescient words with gorgeous cinematography and the testimonies of his family and neighbors, all of whom are being deeply affected by the industrial and economic changes to their agrarian way of life.
“It’s a conversation that is more urgent now than ever, as we find ourselves in a deeply divided nation where urban consumers remain so completely disconnected from the rural producers whose work sustains their very lives,” says director Laura Dunn. “Wendell shows us with extraordinary sensitivity just what fidelity to a place and to one’s own community can truly mean.”
The property is located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg. A National Historic Landmark, Gari Melchers Home and Studio is one of just 30 of America’s most significant artists’ spaces included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios consortium.
For directions and hours of operation, call 540-654-1015, or visit the museum website at www.GariMelchers.org. For more information, contact Joanna Catron, curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 540-654-1841.