Nomadland and the Community Behind the Movie

What Is Nomadland

Interested individuals might have heard the name Nomadland in recent times. After all, the movie has won a number of prestigious awards, with excellent examples being the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Nomadland has respectable numbers in a financial sense, seeing as how it managed to make more than $20 million on a $5 million budget.

Story-wise, it is focused on a woman named Fern, who loses her job at a US Gypsum plant in 2011 just a short while after losing her husband. As a result, she decides to sell most of her possessions, buy a van, and then survive by doing seasonal work while traveling around the United States. Fern is not a real person. However, she was very much inspired by real people. In fact, it should be mentioned that the movie Nomadland was based on the non-fictional book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, which was written after the author had spent a great deal of time living the same kind of life as her subjects.

What Inspired Nomadland?

There isn’t a single event that created the community of nomads in Nomadland. After all, the American middle class has undergone considerable corrosion over the course of decades. For proof, consider the fact that the percentage of American adults who are in a middle-income household has fallen from 61 percent in 1971 to 51 percent in 2019. Alternatively, if interested individuals want something more intuitive, consider the case of The Simpsons. Said show started up in the late 1980s and has continued into the present time. Initially, the titular family was on the lower end of average. Nowadays, a four-bedroom house on a single salary has become something to envy.

Having said that, if there is a single event that can be blamed, it would be the Great Recession of the 2010s. Essentially, the subprime mortgage crisis brought about a near-collapse of the global financial system. A lot of average people had their savings wiped out because of this. Even worse, a lot of average people winded up losing their jobs because of the economic uncertainties of the time, thus forcing them to make severe life changes to survive. Such was the case for a lot of the nomads in Nomadland.

Of course, there are some significant differences between these nomads and their pre-modern counterparts. For example, they tend to move about in much smaller numbers based on much more irregular routes. This makes sense because modern nomads survive by seeking seasonal as well as other temporary work opportunities, which are neither common enough nor regular enough to enable them to move about as entire communities. However, what is interesting is that modern nomads have nonetheless managed to form communities of their own. Something that is helped by the fact that they can keep in touch with one another even if they are physically apart thanks to modern telecommunications.

In any case, the prominence of Nomadland has resulted in a wide range of responses from a wide range of people. For example, there are those who have spoken up about how it matched their own lived experiences. Similarly, there are those who have become fascinated about a way of life that they never knew existed in the present time. As such, it is safe to say that Nomadland has had an impact on the cultural landscape of the United States.

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