Nomadland is a 2020 American drama film written, produced, edited, and directed by Chloé Zhao. The film tells the story of Fern (played by Frances McDormand), a woman who decides to live and work on the road as a van-dwelling nomad after the economic collapse of her company town. As a result, the film explores the lives of these nomads and their reasons for choosing this lifestyle.
The main character of the film Nomadland, Fern, decides to live and work on the road, which can be seen as a radical and logical choice. Fern’s decision results from a series of events that led her to question the societal norms and conventions that define a “good life.” After her husband passes away and she loses her job, Fern is forced to reexamine her life and the social norms she had previously followed. Her decision to live on the road can be seen as escapism, as she attempts to escape the constraints of a traditional lifestyle (Zhao, 2020). However, it is also about finding freedom, autonomy, and self-reliance. Fern is looking for a way to reclaim control over her life and find a sense of purpose. The nomadic lifestyle is not for everyone, but for Fern, it is an opportunity to break free from society’s traditional expectations and live life on her terms.
The film explores the themes of community, self-discovery, and the search for meaning in life. Fern can find a sense of belonging among the other nomads she meets on the road, and through her journey, she learns to find the courage to pursue her dreams. The film also touches on the theme of the American dream and how it has changed over time. Fern’s decision to live on the road reflects the changing societal norms and the shift towards a more fluid and non-traditional way of life. As a result, the film Nomadland is a powerful exploration of the human experience and the search for meaning and purpose in life. Fern’s decision to live and work on the road is a bold and courageous choice but also a logical one, as she seeks to find a sense of freedom, autonomy, and self-reliance. The film raises important questions about societal norms and conventions and how they shape our understanding of living a good life.
Many folks who show up at Bob Wells’ Rubber Tramp rendezvous in the film Nomadland seek respite from a “culture of economic relegation.” They have become nomadic as a way of survival since the traditional economy has left them behind. They are not just seeking a change of scenery, but a change of lifestyle, a change of community, and a change of perspective. The nomads are not all the same; each has their own story and reasons for choosing this lifestyle. Some seek freedom, others seek a sense of community, and others seek a way to escape their past. For example, Fern, the main character, lost her job and house and was left with no other option but to live on the road. She found her way to the Rubber Tramp rendezvous, where she met other nomads seeking a new way of life. She learns from them, and they learn from her. Fern can find a sense of belonging among the other nomads, and through her journey, she learns to find the courage to pursue her dreams.
Similarly, the film also explores the story of Linda May, a retired nurse who finds solace in the nomadic lifestyle after the death of her husband. She is looking for a way to escape society’s traditional expectations and live on her terms. She finds a sense of community and belonging among the other nomads through her journey. The movie also introduces the figure of Swankie, a seasoned nomad with years of experience living on the road. She is a free spirit who is seeking freedom and adventure. She is not interested in traditional life and wants to live on her terms.
The film Nomadland offers a unique perspective on the working conditions of Amazon’s Camper-Force program, which hires nomads to work as temporary employees during the holiday season. The concept is initially presented as a method for these nomads to make money while continuing to lead a mobile lifestyle. However, as the film progresses, it becomes clear that the working conditions of the program are grueling, and the nomads are treated as disposable laborers. In the film, we see the nomads working long hours in harsh conditions and with little time to rest. The work is physically demanding, and the pay is low. The nomads are expected to work in a fast-paced environment and are given little time to take breaks. The working conditions are portrayed as being in stark contrast to the freedom and autonomy that the nomadic lifestyle promises. The film also highlights this type of work’s emotional toll on the nomads. Many are forced to leave their communities and families behind to participate in the program. They are away from home for long periods, and the work is so demanding that they have little time to spend with their loved ones. The film presents a different and more humanizing perspective on the lives of these workers and the struggles they face.
The movie also shows how the business treats the nomads unfairly, contrasting their rights and privileges to those of the permanent workers. Particularly, the company’s attitude toward nomads is disposable, with no sense of work security or belonging, which raises significant concerns about labor rights and the effects of the gig economy on people. It offers a unique and more humanizing perspective on the lives of the nomads and the realities of their struggles. It is a sensitive portrayal of the precariousness of their circumstances and their limited control over their lives. It sheds light on the harsh reality of the exploitation of these workers and the lack of protection they have in the face of economic hardship. The film is a powerful reminder that these nomads are people with hopes and dreams and are often unfairly excluded from the benefits and protections that other workers receive. It is a timely reminder that we must do more to ensure safe and fair working conditions for all workers, regardless of their contract type. We must also push for greater transparency in the gig economy to ensure that these workers are not taken advantage of. Ultimately, the film serves as an important reminder that the rights of the most vulnerable must be preserved and protected.
In a nutshell, Nomadland is a potent and thought-provoking movie that examines the lives and reasons of people who have decided to live a nomadic lifestyle. It is a film that challenges our preconceptions about what it means to live a good life and what it means to be a part of a community. The film is about the nomadic lifestyle, the human condition, and the search for meaning and purpose. The film is a powerful reminder that there is no one right way to live and that each of us has the right to choose our path in life.
Zhao, C. (2020). Nomadland. Hulu. https://www.hulu.com/movie/nomadland-dcd9cb83-0636-46ef-8cbd-b9d994672e83?utm_source=20thcentury&utm_medium=promotion&utm_campaign=Nomadland