SXSW Film Reviews

SXSW Film Reviews

This Land Is Your Land

D: Lori Cheatle, Daisy Wright

Documentary Feature Competition, World Premiere

"I'm just going to be myself and wear what I'm wearing," says a teenage girl in a man-on-the-street interview. Ironically, she asserts her individuality in an Old Navy T-shirt and a Nike visor. This ambitious social-issues documentary considers what it means to be a person – a citizen, a worker, a neighbor – in a culture so wallpapered with corporate logos that we scarcely notice them on our own clothes; in a nation where transnational business entities enjoy the rights of personhood under the Constitution; in a society where the public airwaves are controlled by corporations; and individuals who broadcast are criminals. It succeeds by telling revealing stories (a Russian-Orthodox monastery battles Starbucks for the trademarked phrase "Christmas Blend") interspersed with salient commentary (with Jim Hightower and No Logo's Naomi Klein, among others). The filmmakers resist the talking-heads trap, so the film is consistently engaging despite its weightiness. Best is the straightforward coverage of a paper-products plant in Natchez, Miss., closed down by NAFTA; one employee relates, "When my stock goes up I've hurt another working man. ... It's almost as if people don't care whether you live or die." As powerful as Michael Moore's firebrand muckraking but without the grandstanding, This Land is essential viewing.

(Alamo, March 19, 1pm)

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
Wonder Stories

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)