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Directed by John Hanson, Rob Nilsson

United States 1978 95 mins. In English

One of the landmarks of American independent film, NORTHERN LIGHTS won the Caméra d’Or (best-directed first feature) at the Cannes Film Festival. An old man (played by 94-year-old Henry Martinson, an actual participant in the dramatized events) turns the pages of a brittle diary, and we’re back in the winter of 1915, as Robert Behling crisscrosses a bleak North Dakota in his Model T to drum up support for the Nonpartisan League against the trust-held grain elevators, trains, and banks that constantly threaten foreclosure. Shot on the proverbial shoestring in temperatures that hit 40 below, with a cast largely of non-professional locals and North Dakotans, apart from Behling, onscreen fiancée Susan Lynch, and pesky friend Joe Spano.

Genres: Drama