Doc Blog

Madina on Farmer's Requiem
Director Ramses Madina discusses his film Farmer's Requiem: With a contemplative pace, Farmer's Requiem studies the effects of time on the icons of agriculture. The hauntingly beautiful decay of farms and barren fields are echoed in the fading considerations of Victor McGregor, a farmer at the end of his days. Farmer's Requiem was filmed over a period of three summers beginning in the summer of 2002. The entire filmmaking experience was a unique one that involved labour intensive shots filmed using a specially modified Bell & Howell 2709 35mm film camera. The 2709 was made during the 1920's, around the same time many of the barns being filmed were constructed. The entire process from production to editing created an intimate relationship with these icons of agriculture and in many ways the era they emerged from. From long days camped out executing methodical time-lapse shots, to a return to the tactile process of picture and sound editing on a 35mm flatbed, the nostalgic gaze of the film is echoed in the process of its creation. The film with its delapidated images and barren fields represent our tenuous relationship with history. A film that not only evokes the loss of traditon and livelihood, but also the dissappearance of a cultural and architectural landscape, the shift from agriculture to agribusiness, from the farmers market to the supermarket, and a disappearing sense of community. Farmer's Requiem is a poetic elegy to a vanishing generation.

[Picture: Madina with the Bell & Howell 2709 during the filming of Farmers Requiem]
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