is a both a raucous celebration of the culture of agriculture and an honest
look at the reality of family farming. The question at its premise, whether the
family farm can sustain the next generation, is a question faced all over this
country and one that is crucial to the future of the food system and our nation. I
know that Dryland
will be very well-received."
story of the family farm."
"Combine demolition derbies are a chance for farmers to blow off some steam by crashing old,
modified wheat combine harvesters into each other....But it turns out that combine demolition
derbies also work as wonderful narratives for telling the story of the family farm. Sue Arbuthnot
and Richard Wilhelm explore this theme in Dryland, a bittersweet, beautiful new film. It's the
best movie about coming of age and crashing combines you'll ever see."
Dryland, directed by Sue Arbuthnot and Richard Wilhelm, is a wistful documentarylots
of long shots on beautiful empty fields, empty storefronts, empty streets, rusting
equipmentand rightfully so. The way of life it captures is contracting, ratcheting
in on itself, leaving small towns that are unable to support businesses, and schools
without students. The calculus that drives farmers off the land, and drives Dryland, is
simple and inexorable. Thanks for creating this profound work of art!
“Dryland does a remarkable job of capturing the heart and soul of two wheat farming families in
eastern Washington, displaying their passion for farming and their commitment to maintaining their
way of life. It provides an excellent opportunity for those of us not living on a farm to see firsthand
what it takes to be a successful farmer in today’s economy.”
Tom Davis, Washington Farm Bureau
“From the opening frame the new documentary, Dryland, brings us big vistas and large concepts. Dryland
reminds us that we all have the opportunity to live today with passion and do all we can to shape a future
that enhances the common good—whether in small towns in eastern Washington or big cities throughout this country."
David Leslie, Exec. Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon