$12 General Admission
For his 44th feature documentary, filmmaker Frederick Wiseman turns his judicious eye to a region of American often ignored and rarely patronized, exploring the culture and daily life of Monrovia, Indiana, a town of roughly 1,000 people defined by an old-world farming culture that reaches back decades.
It is here, in this unlikely staging ground, that Wiseman captures some of the most abundant displays of unalloyed human performance in his cinema. Monrovia, Indiana is a film of group rituals. The audience is present at contentious city government meetings and pastoral church services; witness to a Freemason ceremony and an attendee at a high school band concert; among the guests at a wedding and the mourners at a funeral. Wiseman’s omnipresent, ever-curious regard finds the universal in the particular as he allows humanity to live their lives in their own time. What emerges is a polyphonic summa of a community as only he can orchestrate.
“I thought a film about a small farming community in the Midwest would be a good addition to the series I have been doing on contemporary American life. Monrovia, Indiana appealed to me because of its size, location (I have never shot a film in the rural Midwest) and the shared cultural and religious interests within the community. During the nine weeks of filming, the residents of Monrovia were helpful, friendly and welcoming, and gave me access to all aspects of daily life. Life in big American cities on the east and west coasts is regularly reported on and I was interested in learning more about life in small town America and sharing my view.” – Frederick Wiseman