Nomadland

Leaving Empire for the desert
Searchlight Pictures
by
ABR Arts 25 February 2021

Nomadland

Leaving Empire for the desert
Searchlight Pictures
by
ABR Arts 25 February 2021

Life in the Nevada town of Empire has become extinct: the town’s plant has been shut, the houses emptied, the postcode eliminated. Fern’s (Frances McDormand) husband has died recently, and when we meet her at the start of Nomadland, written and directed by Chloé Zhao (The Rider, Songs My Brother Taught Me), Fern’s sole earthly anchor is a small van in which she has packed all her remaining belongings. She cuts ties with the last of Empire’s residents with a firm hug and a tight smile, then drives off into a vast, frozen landscape. Untied from the comforts and constraints of a stationary life, she navigates a difficult freedom, relying for her livelihood on the fortuity of sporadic employment, free parking spaces, and human decency.

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.