Review: ‘Betting the Farm’

A collective of Maine dairymen form a start-up to get their milk into local shops, but find peace and prosperity elusive in lyrically rendered agribusiness docu "Betting the Farm."

A collective of Maine dairymen form a start-up to get their milk into local shops, but find peace and prosperity elusive in lyrically rendered agribusiness docu “Betting the Farm.” In the compassionate spirit of docu “Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern,” which won jury and aud prizes at Sundance in 1996, SilverDocs’ world preem of the first docu feature from helmers Cecily Pingree and brother-in-law Jason Mann signals an updated spin on the plight of the American farmer that will be in demand for fests, social justice groups and ancillary.

Pic focuses on three of eight homesteaders struggling to bring their product, Maine’s Own Organic (MOO) to market — blustery Richard Lary, weary Vaughn Chase and idealistic Aaron Bell. Various snafus delay the debut, with CEO Bill Eldridge warning payouts will be late. Resulting economic strife and subsequent soul-searching tests mettle in varying ways. Pingree’s camera is unflappably cool, abetted by a spacy roots score. The helmers have connections to biz and politics: Mann is grandson of late “Marty” director and former DGA prez Delbert Mann; sister-in-law Pingree’s mother Chellie is a prominent Maine Democrat and former prez and CEO of Common Cause.

Betting the Farm

Production

A Pull-Start Pictures production in association with Chicken & Egg Pictures. Produced, directed by Cecily Pingree, Jason Mann.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Pingree; editor, Scott A. Burgess; music, Colin Gulley, Lindsay Mann, Joe Nelson; sound, Jason Mann, Nelson, Josh Povec. Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, June 25, 2012. (In SilverDocs Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Aaron Bell, Carly DelSignore, Vaughn Chase, Laura Chase, Richard Lary, Janet Lary, Bill Eldridge.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading