Peter and the Farm
Snowy Owl Theater @ Icicle Creek Center for the Arts - 7409 Icicle Road Leavenworth, WA 98826
Peter Dunning is the proud proprietor of Mile Hill Farm, which sits on 187 acres in Vermont. The land's 38 harvests have seen the arrivals and departures of three wives and four children, leaving Peter with only animals and memories. The arrival of a film crew causes him to confront his history and his legacy, passing along hard-won agricultural wisdom even as he doubts the meaning of the work he is fated to perform until death. Haunted by alcoholism and regret, Peter veers between elation and despair, often suggesting to the filmmakers his own suicide as a narrative device. He is a tragedian on a stage it has taken him most of his life to build, and which now threatens to collapse from under him. At once a postcard from paradise and a cautionary tale for our times, Peter and The Farm sifts through the potential energy of a human life, that which is used and that which is squandered.
Dunning is a rugged individualist in the extreme, a hard-drinking loner and former artist who is also one of the most complicated, sympathetic documentary subjects to come along in some time. For all his candor, he slips into drunken self-destructive habits, cursing the splendors of a pastoral landscape that he has spent decades nurturing. Imbued with an aching tenderness, Tony Stone’s documentary is both haunting and heartbreaking, a mosaic of its singular subject’s transitory memories and reflections—however funny, tragic, or angry they may be.
*Parental advisory: Coarse language and adult themes
- The Hollywood Reporter
“A beautiful documentary with a rueful, cantankerous yet hugely charismatic figure at its center. Rendered with a texture as rich as the soil through his fingers.”
- Scott Tobias, Variety
$10 General Admission / $12 at the door
$7 Student / $9 at the door