Northern Light (2013), by Nick Bentgen, 104 min, United States
“Set against the backdrop of a town’s annual snowmobile race, Northern Light interweaves captivating stories of recession-era America. The lives of three families change profoundly in the north woods of Michigan, where winters are unforgiving, jobs are hard to come by, and the line between living life and merely surviving is razor-thin.
This is a cinematic, observational documentary that explores the American working class experience through character-based storytelling. As racers and their families pin their hopes to a 500 mile-long test of endurance, small triumphs and giant sacrifices are made along the way.
Dysfunction and hardship permeate the cold, but this harsh setting often becomes an incubator for community and familial intimacy. Northern Light explores this disparity through the eyes of remarkably strong men and women, their stories told in richly styled portraiture. From a frozen corner of the country emerge three American families.”