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Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

1978 / 95min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: JOHN HANSON & ROB NILSSON

CAST: ROBERT BEHLING, SUSAN LYNCH, JOE SPANO

Rob Nilsson in person

A documentary-fiction hybrid that tells a true story of the Nonpartisan League, a collective of Nordic immigrant grain farmers in North Dakota who organize against the Eastern monopolies. Northern Lights is an exemplar of independent regional filming that toured Minnesota and North Dakota theater by theater before going to Cannes, where it won the Camera d’or. Book-ended by the presence of Henry Martison, a 94-year-old (at the time of shooting) League veteran and lifelong labor organizer, the film reclaims a forgotten chapter of American political activism when, for a brief moment, the people “had the powers that be on the run.”