By Sara Baird
I’m a mom teetering at the edge of an empty nest. As I’ve seen my kids grow up and become independent humans making it on their own, I’ve often found myself holding tighter to the one I still have at home and my spouse and to sometimes consider the unimaginable. How would I even cope if I lost them? Land tells the story of two individuals who are faced with the harsh life-changing reality of the loss of their entire family and their quest for survival in the life they are left with. This film will tear at the emotions of anyone who has ever considered what they would do when faced with the ultimate loss while offering the hope of resiliency built through the power of the outdoors and human connection.
Land is the directorial debut of Golden Globe-winning actress Robin Wright who both directs and stars in the film. It is the story of Edee Mathis, a mother, and wife in the aftermath of the tragic loss of her family. As Edee struggles with her future she moves into a rustic mountain cabin in Wyoming. She leaves behind her sister, her phone, and much of her former life and even goes so far as to be left without a vehicle. She is truly alone. The film takes an excruciating twist as a mistake leaves Edee with little food to survive on. She continues to fight the battle between staying alive and just letting go until Miguel (played by Demain Bichir) arrives. Miquel is a local man who has faced a similar tragic loss in his life. The story turns to the struggle of accepting help and the decision to heal.
The film’s hour and a half carried me on an emotional rollercoaster from the beginning when Edee is asked “Have you thought about what you want your life to be now?” I struggled to understand how a person would even approach that question. As Edee prepared to head off into the wilderness I was shocked at the carelessness with which she left. I also dealt with anger and judgment as she made some very poor decisions ranging from bringing single-serve plastic water bottles with her (where does she expect to discard those anyway?) to her lack of self-preservation in her decisions. Eventually, I was asking myself what I would do in those same situations and felt the gut-wrenching realization of how true her words were when asked by Miguel if she ever got lonely out there “I know I’d be more lonely there than here.”
The film’s scenery tied the emotional rollercoaster together with breathtaking scenes of open spaces, mountain views, and sunsets. Many of the scenes did not contain dialog leaving you to just feel the healing nature of the beautiful setting and hard work that living remotely entails. The relationship that builds between Miquel and Edee turns this story of incomprehensible loss into one of hope and resilience.
Land film review: My Recommendation
This is a film that I found I needed to check out from my reality to experience wholly. I struggled a little with the timeline of the film. The film drifts through seasons and I had to read a description to realize that it takes place over a couple of years. I also had to step back from the plain stupidity of some of Edee’s decisions. As I let go of that I found myself stepping into the shoes of the incredible loss experience by both Edee and Miquel and shedding tears. This is a sad film without a doubt but it redeems itself by offering lessons in residency and hope as Edee makes decisions about what her life should be like now because she does still have that choice and that power in her life. I think anyone who loves the outdoors and has ever thought of a similar retreat in times of loss and overwhelm would find this film meaningful and touching.
The Review Background:
Camping for Women’s Sara Baird was invited to undertake a LAND film review in the lead up to the film’s official release on February 12.
LAND (Focus Features) Release: 02/12/21
A story about healing and the transcendent power of human kindness, Land follows the journey of a woman searching for a new way to live in the wake of a life-altering loss. Edee Holzer (Robin Wright) removes herself from society to embark on a solitary existence in the remote mountain wilderness of Wyoming. Living off the grid without any prior wilderness experience, Edee is buffeted by the elements and unprepared for nature’s formidable realities. She struggles mightily against odds that grow steeper by the day, but a timely encounter with a local man, Miguel Borras (Demián Bichir), opens the door to a deeper understanding of nature as he teaches her the skills she needs to survive. An unexpected friendship develops between two wounded souls and a bond that confers healing and grace.
|Starring||Robin Wright, Demián Bichir, Kim Dickens|
|Directed By||Robin Wright|
|Produced By||Allyn Stewart, Lora Kennedy, Leah Holzer, Peter Saraf, Leah Holzer|
Watch the Trailer here:
Sara Baird, Nicole Anderson, and the team at Camping for Women sincerely thank Brigade Marketing for facilitating the preview screening, enabling this review to be published ahead of the release date for our readers.
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