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Northern Light

HD   Not Rated Closed Captioning

Nick Bentgen

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About the Movie

Set against the backdrop of a town's annual snowmobile race, Northern Light explores the working class experience in a series of captivating personal 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 simply surviving is razor-thin. This cinematic, observational documentary 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 is simultaneously the site of community and familial intimacy. Filmed over the course of several years spent with the film's protagonists, Northern Light is a fresh and vital contribution to the tradition of contemporary American cinéma vérité.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 6
  • Fresh: 5
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A sneakily compelling, endlessly patient observation of three working-class families in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, Jun 15, 2014

Fresh: Rather than high drama, these are moments of plain being, a rare immersion into the everyday lives of strangers. – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, Jun 13, 2014

Fresh: The film has an atmosphere of endless experimentation, which compliments the constant revision the subjects apply to their lives in the wake of their economic insecurity. – Wes Greene, Slant Magazine, Jun 16, 2014

Rotten: "Northern Light" can be monotonous. – Tom Keogh, Seattle Times, Jan 30, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes
Northern Light
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  • $17.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2013

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