Nomadland

My colleague told me a while back that he watched Nomadland and he wondered what I’d think of the movie. Yesterday I finally had a chance to watch it.

I have a few vivid fears in my life. One of them goes like this; I’m old, the world has changed around me, and whatever skills and experiences I have had gone completely worthless. As a result I’m piss poor. Oh, and I’m alone. That’s exactly how this movie starts. So much so that for me it was practically a horror movie.

As the story unfolds, however, this changes. The protagonist refuses to suffer. It’s not an easy life, for sure, but she embraces it, not tolerate it. It becomes a life she chooses, not one that she’s forced into. She refuses to settle back into the “normal” life, on multiple occasions. I loved that part. it started as a horror movie for me but ended as a hopeful story. I wish I could have better understood the evolution of her thoughts, though. That might have cured one of my fears.

The natural beauty of American west was incredible, too. Tiny me, surrounded by the big mother nature. That is so obviously one of the pulls of living a nomad life. This was personal to me, and I already wrote about why.

I loved that all the key figures in this story were human beings with hearts. They all build authentic relationships with her, and they are all given wonderful dialogues by the director. I later learned that all of them are actual nomads, and that’s now making me wonder if the stories they tell are fiction or non-fiction. It’s hard to believe some of the genuine expression of the emotions are acting.

But at the same time, a part of me also finds it hard to believe that in reality everyone in this part of the society is that nice. I bet there are a plenty of people who weren’t lucky nor strong enough to see the world like she does. Mental illness. Substance abuse. I think about some homeless people I have seen in down town. I’m not complaining, though. I’d much rather see a hopeful story, as opposed to a personal horror movie.

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