The film DREAMLAND takes the viewer to the prairie of Eastern Montana, one of the least densely populated areas in the U.S. Not until the beginning of the last century new railway lines opened up this deserted land. Large groups of poor city-dwellers and countrymen from Europe and America moved here to make their dream come true: their own piece of land and their own farm. The vast plains were said to become productive and their inhabitants prosperous. Bad Land by the British author Jonathan Raban tells the story of this barren region and is the starting point of the film. Raban describes how the unmanageable climate afflicted these new inhabitants of the prairie. The promised paradise failed to occur. Disillusioned after a few decades, most homesteaders left the patch of land they gained on nature. Towns and farms were left behind. The dream had come to an end.
DREAMLAND shows how current inhabitants relate to this empty land. What is it like to live at the reverse side of a dream? In a place where life has moved away, where silence is gradually taking over? Does the omnipresent prairie have a liberating effect or does it cause distress? And is it actually possible to feel at home in an area where man is constantly threatened to lose his struggle against nature?
In a contemplative documentary the filmmakers show their encounter with a neglected part of the U.S.

Producer: Ronald Groenink for Terrain Vague Film
Sound: Kees van der Knaap
Music: Gijs Tra

Festivals and screenings

  • 2004 Nederlands Film Festival