Film Review: The Great Basin

It might be stating the obvious, but the United States of America is a vast country, with a huge diversity of landscape and people. With much of the media scrutiny focuses on events taking place in New York City or Washington DC, if not the more vocal Southern states, it can be easy to overlook the everyday lives of ordinary Americans. The ebb and flow of the seasons. The minutiae of those daily interactions which play a huge part in who we are.

The Great Basin plays host to the ‘loneliest road in America’. Rural Nevada is in many ways a microcosm of life in the countryside across the nation. The stark and rugged landscapes mirror the hardships of everyday life. While national events have an echo here, local issues are much more important. In The Great Basin, filmmaker Chivas DeVinck observes the quotidian. The complexities and contradiction which make up the great tapestry of life.

The Great Basin channels the work of Frederick Wiseman to create a thoughtful and engaging documentary. Centred around a proposed water pipeline which threatens to destroy their quiet reverie, we’re transported into the heart of pastoral life. It’s a fascinating watch and Yoshio Kitagawa’s cinematography picks out the beauty of the natural environment. The Great Basin will slowly lull you into its rhythm.   

The Great Basin opens in select US cinemas on 14 November.

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