Presently streaming on Hulu, Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland has been an award season darling thus far, already selecting up finest director and finest movement image accolades on the 78th Golden Globes Awards. The movie follows Frances McDormand as a girl named Fern who takes seasonal jobs to makes ends meet as she travels throughout the nation after her husband dies. Zhao’s film captures lush and lifelike views of the American West, and at instances, it even seems like a documentary with tight close-ups of precise nomads. However is Nomadland truly based mostly on a real story? Partially, sure.
Whereas Fern’s story is fictional, Zhao’s script and movie are based mostly on Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction ebook Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. So, which elements of the film are based mostly on actuality? This is what you have to know.
What Is the Nomadland E-book About?
In her ebook, Bruder intently follows nomads, an growing variety of older individuals who journey throughout America trying to find work. For the reason that Nice Recession, migrant staff who name themselves “workampers” have gone on the highway by van and RV, stopping at communal campgrounds alongside the way in which. Featured within the movie, Amazon has a program known as CamperForce the place RVers, together with retiree nomads, pick up temporary work during busy seasons. It recruits RVers as previous as these of their 80s, receiving federal tax credit for hiring the “deprived,” which incorporates folks on meals stamps and Supplemental Safety Revenue. Amazon presents CamperForce employees a stipend for residing on a campsite. Employees might also obtain medical advantages after working a sure period of time, however many aren’t eligible as a result of non permanent nature of the seasonal positions. In the course of the off-seasons, some workcampers earn livings as campsite hosts, sustaining communal campgrounds.
Who Are the Precise Nomads within the Film?
Nomadland blends fiction with actuality — Zhao is known for casting non-professional actors in her movies, as she does in The Rider and Songs My Brother Taught Me. Whereas it options seasoned stars like McDormand and David Strathairn, the movie additionally spotlights people who find themselves residing the nomadic life-style. Nomads who play fictionalized variations of themselves embrace Fern’s pals Linda Could and Swankie, each of whom additionally seem in Bruder’s ebook. Within the film, Linda Could, a coworker at Amazon, introduces Fern to Bob Wells, one other nomad who portrays himself in Nomadland.
Wells is definitely a distinguished vandweller within the rising nomad neighborhood — he runs a preferred YouTube channel called CheapRVliving the place he shares tips for survival on the highway. He additionally hosts an annual occasion known as the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ, the place nomads attend seminars in addition to share suggestions and provides. Accord to Wells’ Vulture profile, most of his scenes had been improvised, together with his speech on the finish of the film about his late son.
Nomadland will not be fully based mostly on a real story, however it’s a deeply empathetic movie that attracts closely from the real-life nomadic motion and options voices from these within the nomad neighborhood.