Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: Week Of 1/22/97)

By Andrea Chase

Remember the farm crisis? It was the media's darling back in the early 80s. Time passed and, as usual, the media went on to new things guaranteed to grab ratings. Unfortunately, the crisis stuck around. The documentary "Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern" tells the story of how the Jordan family faces up when the crisis finally hits home.

The Jordans had weathered the the first wave of bank foreclosures a decade earlier, but when the local bank, which has been carrying their operating loan for thirty years, is sold to a conglomerate, the Jordans account is re-classified as "troubled". Years of hard work and personal integrity count for nothing with the nameless, faceless corporate types now determining their fate. With pluck, grit and an incredible sense of humor as weapons, the family comes up with a plan to save their way of life for future generations to enjoy.

The plan is simple. Jim, the oldest son, who is about to be evicted from the farm he's been renting, owns enough farm equipment to keep a good size place going. His father, Russ, might, just might, be able to pay off his bank loan and save his land, if he sells not only all HIS farm equipment, but all his livestock and as many of the family's household possessions as he can. The decision is made that, if the auction succeeds in raising the cash, Jim and his family will take over the family farm, giving them security for the future. Russ and his wife will retire to town even though they're not quite ready to go. Simple, sure, but not easy. Still, watching this family pull together even as life tries to knock them down is anything but a downer. Their determination and spirit are why this film has won so many audience favorite awards at film festivals around the world.

The film asks what is success and what is failure? Well, here's a criterion. It's how you deal with what life hands you. By that definition, whatever the outcome, Russ Jordan and his familiy are about the biggest successes you will ever meet. For Movie Magazine, I'm Andrea Chase

Copyright 1997 Andrea Chase

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