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Directed by Allison Anders

United States 1992 101 mins. In English

Anders’ startling and deeply-felt second feature—in the wake of her success with 1987’s Border Radio—follows hard-working waitress Nora (Brooke Adams) and her daughters Trudi (Ione Skye) and Shade (Fairuza Balk) as they negotiate life in a drive-past, anonymous, small town in New Mexico. Not exactly a welcoming place for women in general, life is complicated when Nora’s husband (James Brolin) leaves the family abruptly. Trudi and Shade long to leave for big-city life, but instead, while searching for some semblance of personal identity beyond the trailer park, see a string of fleeting relationships and dead-end jobs unfold before them. A heartbreakingly earnest portrayal of the vicissitudes of life in middle America, with Gas Food Lodging, “Anders took a sledgehammer to Reaganite sensibilities and showed women who were living on the edge—and in doing so placed herself in the vanguard of the indie wave of the ’90s… Throughout her film career, Anders has brought her tough personal experiences to the screen and challenged audiences to see women in new ways—a legacy directors continue to build on today.”—Melissa Silverstein, Sight & Sound

Genres: Drama

Appears in: Wordstock: Film to Page



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.