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Hot Docs 2015: On Her Own (2015) ★★★★


When you are left alone, your parents suddenly pass away, and The Great Recession adds to your problems, all you have left is the strength to keep fighting; to save your fifth generation farm, and stay afloat. It is difficult to believe how a woman would not find it impossible to give up, especially in a world of men. The story told by Morgan Schmidt-Feng, of the documentary subject Nancy Prebilich, is something that may be a bit upsetting to us, but may also cheer us to think that there is someone like her that still fights and still believes in keeping her parents’ dream alive, in spite of losing one of the most important things that has kept her family connected…

 The documentary is set on the farm of Nancy, who we first find in 2009, while both of her parents are still alive. Within a short time, while in the process of filming, Nancy loses her parents, first her father passes away, a year after, her mother. But life goes on, bills must be paid, and the fight to keep their land was a great stress for the entire family. In spite that Nancy gets some help from her niece and nephew, it feels that she still left alone when it comes to solve the major problems. 

On Her Own introduces us, not only to how smaller farms must stay competitive with the bigger farmlands, but also how financial crisis makes people leave their land where they have had the best memories of their lives. It also shows how one farm can hold a family together, when they were about to fall apart. And, through all of this, no matter how many stresses Nancy has, and the fact that she is left alone, our heroine, miraculously, remains as strong as possible allowing her life to be filmed at one of the hardest times in her life. But, more importantly, she proves that even on her own she will not allow these hard times to take her sanity from her. If this is not what you call ‘having a strong personality’, then I don`t know how else to define Nancy Prebilich.

Screening Information

ROM Theatre – April 27 – 7:00 pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 – April 29 – 4:30 pm
Scotiabank Theatre 3 – May 1 – 9:15 pm

Talent Attending

Filmmaker Morgan Schmidt-Feng and documentary subject Nancy Prebilich

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