Northern Lights

  • Thur Oct 16
  • Fri Oct 17
Northern Lights

introduced by Prof Jeff Cowie (ILR) on Oct 16

John Hanson, Rob Nilsson
Robert Behling, Susan Lynch, Joe Spano

Winner of the Caméra d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival, Northern Lights recounts a North Dakota farmer’s effort in 1915 to organize the Nonpartisan League, which championed cooperative farming efforts over out-of-state corporate interests and banks that were quick to threaten foreclosure. Shot in black and white, with a cast largely consisting of non-professional actors in conditions that included temperatures approaching 40 degrees below zero, the film is as much a history lesson as an exemplary piece of independent filmmaking. While the film “…makes some history of its own as a successful recent example of the movement toward a regional cinema in America,” the film “…also acts as a reminder of how much of American history stands in danger of being overlooked just because it happened outside the American mainstream.” (Roger Ebert)

Cosponsored with Science & Technology Studies


35mm bw
1 hour 35 minutes
release year/country
1978 USA