Laura Dunn is the documentary filmmaker behind the film The Unforeseen, which took home the Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award and was executive produced by Robert Redford and Terrence Malick. Laura’s latest film, Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry in which she teams up Redford and Malick again, is the focus of this conversation. Put this stunningly beautiful documentary on your watch list. I’ve been an ardent follower of Wendell Berry’s work for years and this film is a glimpse into the groundedness of place, community and family that Berry poetically captures with his typewriter. Look & See is not a romanticized version of the farmer poet, but an invitation to see the hardship, character, struggle, neighborliness and rooted love that makes up the agrarian lifestyle in Henry County, Kentucky. Laura Dunn and her crew made a generous film. I say generous because Look & See freely gave me space to ask the beautiful question - how then shall I live?
Laura and I talk about Wendell and Tanya Berry’s impact on her life, Wendell’s idea of the union of life and art, marriage as a creative partnership, the unspoken farm crisis and its implications for young farmers today, where she finds hope from the Wendell and Tanya Berry and in her community and why are there so many comedians listed in the end credits of Look & See.
Look & See is not only just for those with a deep admiration for the work of Wendell Berry, but for those seeking to live an engaged life with a sense of place, belonging, and interdependence with the land and community they are rooted in. Go to lookandseefilm.com to pre-order the film, to find out which theaters are screening it and how you can host a screening of Look & See. You can learn more about Laura Dunn at lookandseefilm.com/team and get the show notes for this episode at contemplify.com