Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

sweet_land.jpgBy Dennis D. McDonald

The story is simple: in the early 1920’s a young German mail-order bride, gramophone in hand,  comes to rural Minnesota to meet her Norwegian husband to be. There are complications. The marriage does not take place. With little English she becomes part of the community but as an outsider. She gradually comes to know the farmer, and vice versa. Love blossoms as they learn to work together. No sparks fly, yet you can see the warmth in their eyes.

It doesn’t sound like much when you describe it like this. In reality this little gem of a movie is a gentle work of art that mixes emotion, community, and glorious photography with a subtle soundtrack that is almost mesmerizing.

You have to be patient. There is little of what you would call “action.” Yet there is a human reality here that, if you let it, draws you in to this time long ago that doesn’t seem so long ago after all when so many Americans were from immigrant families.

Jean-Jacques Annaud's ENEMY AT THE GATES

Jean-Jacques Annaud's ENEMY AT THE GATES

Rajkumar Santoshi's KHAKEE