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Movie Discussion Guide: Nomadland
Movie Discussion Guide, Through the Lens  |  Jun 7, 2021
Movie Discussion Guide: Nomadland

Nomadland is a 2020 American drama film based on the 2017 non-fiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. The film is written, produced, directed, and edited by Chloe Zhao, and stars Frances McDormand as a van-dwelling, working nomad who leaves her hometown after her husband dies and the sole industry closes down, to be "houseless" and travel around the United States. David Strathairn also stars in a supporting role. A number of real-life nomads appear as fictionalized versions of themselves, including Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells.

Discussion Guide:

  • What are some reasons Fern is living as she is?
  • What are some reasons Bob and others in this community identify as to why they are living as they are?
  • Can you relate in any way?
  • Why do you think Fern decided not to return to a more 'normal' lifestyle?
  • What are some advantages of the kind of community they experienced?
  • Does that lifestyle appeal to you at all?
  • What is your emotional response to Nomadland?

Here is a link to a printable pdf for this discussion guide.