Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, dir. Laura Dunn, 80 mins, 2016.
Look & See revolves around the divergent stories of several residents of Henry County, Kentucky, who each face difficult choices that will dramatically reshape their relationship with the land and their community. In 1965, Wendell Berry returned home to Henry County, where he bought a small farm house 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the agrarian virtues of simplicity, land stewardship, sustainable farming, local economies and rootedness to place have been replaced by a capital-intensive model of industrial agriculture. Writing from a long wooden desk beneath a forty-paned window, Berry has watched this struggle unfold, becoming one of its most passionate and eloquent voices in defense of agrarian life. (For more on the film: https://lookandseefilm.com/)
We will be joined by English professor and director of Mars Hill’s Regional Studies Program, Dr. Ethan Mannon, for a post-film discussion. Dr. Mannon lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with his wife and their dog. He is an assistant professor of English at Mars Hill University, where he teaches American and Appalachian literature, as well as composition, and coordinates the Regional Studies Program. His publications include two pieces about Wendell Berry: an article in the Mississippi Quarterly and an essay in Telling the Stories Right: Wendell Berry’s Imagination of Port William.
Reel Appalachia Film Screenings are free of charge and all are welcome. The event will be held in the Ramsey Center, which is located inside Renfro Library on the campus of Mars Hill University.