If you haven’t read Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, I urge you to read it before seeing the film.
Director Chloé Zhao’s acclaimed adaptation of the non-fiction book is due for theatrical release in February. No word yet on where it will be streaming. It has swept awards at several film festivals and is creating Oscars buzz. Frances McDormand plays a woman in her 60s who loses everything in the Great Recession, then travels the West in her van, working various jobs.
Click here to see my review. One of my favorite books of the year.
In an era of expensive tiny homes, giant motor homes, and slide-outs that extend from every side of RVs, an American subculture on wheels follows good weather and seasonal work, out of necessity. The itinerants live in rustic, converted vans and RVs of all sizes, moving from campground to campground. Luxurious RVs may surround their modest homes, but they represent a life that couldn’t be farther away.
As camp hosts, they clean bathrooms and quiet rowdy campers. They work in Amazon warehouses and fill orders from an America unaware how much effort (and injury) go into millions of deliveries. Some move their rigs from street to street, hoping to avoid attention and eviction.
New York Times journalist Jessica Bruder drives Halen, her camper van, for part of a three-year journey as she follows a lifestyle that is invisible to many. In Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, she tells the story of Linda, who supplements her small Social Security check and dreams of one day owning land and a modest home. Like others chronicled in Nomadland, Linda’s story will tug at your heart and keep you turning the pages of this compelling book.