Ben’s Mill (1982)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1982.  Odyssey, Public Broadcasting Associates.  Produced by Michel Chalufour, John Karol.  

This subtle documentary very quietly laments the loss of craftsmanship in the face of industrial advancement, as it examines the livelihood of a carpenter who works out of a water-powered mill in Vermont, a real rarity in the modern eighties. The film observes as he creates a water trough for a neighbour’s animals, and a horse drawn sled, and in following the beautiful detail of his work it creates a sense of nostalgia for a time gone by while also giving a sharp view into the world of contemporary New England. Ben is himself a highly watchable character, modest and skilled, and it is one of the least sensationalist documentaries you’ll have the chance to see.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature


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