the production

Either/Or Films’ next narrative feature is Someplace Like America. As was the case with the company’s first film The Sensation of Sight, producing partners Aaron J. Wiederspahn (writer/director) and Buzz McLaughlin (producer) are heading the project.

Currently in development, Someplace Like America is an original fictional narrative set in New Hampshire’s North Country after the closing of the region’s paper mills.

underlying material

The film is inspired by two non-fiction books by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson—the 1980s classic Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass and Someplace Like America (to be published spring 2011 by University of California Press) that revisits the issues of the earlier book and explores the depths of the current national economic downturn and its human repercussions.

Bruce Springsteen, who has long been an on-going champion of Maharidge and Williamson’s work and its eventual fictional translation to the screen, wrote the introduction to the 1996 edition of Journey to Nowhere, and has offered two of the songs from his Ghost of Tom Joad album to the film—songs inspired by the book. Bruce continues to be actively supportive of the projectand has written the Foreword to the new book Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression.

about the film

While the two non-fiction books document the decline of American industry over the past three decades and the resulting struggle of the disenfranchised working man, the film Someplace Like America presents a fictional series of interwoven personal stories with an ensemble cast of characters, revealing the heart of an American working class community with all its struggles, fears, and laughter in the face of increasing economic hard times.

The connective thread in the film is the saga of Dutch, a long unemployed steelworker and transient poet, as he returns to his estranged and ailing family abandoned years before and attempts to reestablish contact through his ten-year-old grandson.

Serving as a microcosm of a growing national dilemma, Someplace Like America presents the human face of severe economic downturn and ultimately illumines the power of hope and perseverance while confronting difficult and sometimes impossible odds.

the producing team

Joining the production team along with Wiederspahn and McLaughlin are producers Tom Koranda of Los Angeles-based Big Water Films and Carey Nelson Burch, head of her own management firm My Own Shingle and for 12 plus years a Film/TV packaging agent with the William Morris Agency.

accompanying documentary

Also in process is a documentary by documentarian Ron Wyman co-produced with Either/Or Films and Wyman’s company Zero Gravity Films. The doc focuses on Maharidge and Williamson’s career-long dedication to reporting on the disenfranchised and unemployed and features many of the people they have encountered along the way. It will serve, among other things, as the connective tissue between Maharidge and Williamson’s work and the feature film.

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