God’s Country

God’s Country

Director: Louis Malle

1985, United States, 89 minutes

Program Notes

The Parkway is proud to present Louis Malle’s fascinating and newly relevant documentary about the American dream with a pre-film talk by Colette Shade exploring late 20th century economic history, the farm credit crisis, conspiracy theories, and how American society fell apart.


In 1979, Louis Malle (My Dinner With Andre, Au Revoir Les Enfants) traveled into the heart of Minnesota to capture the everyday lives of the men and women in a prosperous farming community. Six years later, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, he returned to find drastic economic decline. Free of stereotypes about America’s “heartland,” GOD’S COUNTRY is a stunning work of emotional and political clarity.


Colette Shade is an essayist, fiction writer, and teacher. Her essays have appeared in publications including Splinter, The New Republic, Current Affairs, Jacobin, The Baffler, and Gawker. She mostly writes about economic history, inequality, and the history of wealth in Baltimore. She is currently writing her first novel.