He Shot His Dog Out in an Open Field

NTSC/4:3/TRT 6:13/Color/2002

 The title of He Shot His Dog Out In An Open Field refers to an act that is implied but never directly addressed in the course of the narrative. Live-action bookends, depicting a man’s return to his childhood home, frame a series of famous paintings (by Grant Wood and legends of the Midwestern aesthetic) that explore the dual nature of the Midwest as a bleak, desolate, empty and threatening space, and a warm, healthy and inviting region. A richly layered soundtrack evokes life on the American farm, warping from nostalgic, homey and gentle to dark, cold and treacherous as the narrator describes his family’s journey from the economic, agricultural high of the late Seventies to the obliterating depths of the Farm Crisis in the mid-Eighties.

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