Now available on VOD through Amazon: NEXT YEAR COUNTRY
Joseph Aguirre’s look at an unusual response to a long Montana drought had its world premiere at the 2010 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, where it also picked up an award. It also claimed an award at DocuWest, screened at other fests in Wyoming and Santa Cruz, and was broadcast by a number of PBS stations in the Summer of 2010. It’s been brought to VOD by FilmBuff beginning this week.
In Montana, where a drought has endangered farm operations and people’s livelihoods more or less since 1985, some farm families are pushed to desperate measures. The Fuhrmans seek the help of Matt Ryan, a rainmaker, who has hired his services out, helping unblock nature to regulate itself and encourage rain production. After Ryan’s apparent success at the Fuhrman’s, media reports lead to both enthusiasm from others in nearby communities, and deep skepticism from others when they learn of his price tag. In a land besieged by harsh weather conditions, Ryan brings hope to some, appealing to the farmers’ and ranchers’ eternal optimism that next year could be better. Aguirre’s portrait is well-constructed, offering audiences a glimpse at a pace and way of life that’s both individualistic and yet also inescapably tied to nature.