A film by Liz Marshall
From 1971 – 1977 Midian Farm was a back-to-the-land social experiment created by a community of urban baby-boomers from Toronto. Part of the youth counter-culture movement during a period of social and political re-imagining, its utopian vision eventually collapsed. More than four decades later, filmmaker Liz Marshall investigates the personal, social, and political underpinnings of Midian Farm in an attempt to understand and put to rest a formative chapter of her family history. Liz Marshall lived at Midian Farm as a child with her parents, brothers, aunts and uncles. Her father and mother were its co-founders - her father considered to be its charismatic leader - but after the collapse of their marriage the community fell apart, scattering across Canada. Since the mid 1970s, the topic of the farm has been obscured by romantic idealism and haunted by a hangover of disillusionment.
Marshall interviews and brings together the Midian community, including her parents, stitching together a visually immersive treasure trove of archives from the 60s and 70s, dipping between memories of the past with current day reflections, and culminating on the same parcel of land to celebrate and reconcile a shared piece of history. In today’s neoliberal age, does the Midian diaspora dismiss their formative values as naive? Who were they then during a time of great flux and possibility? Who are they now in today’s climate of planetary urgency? MIDIAN FARM inspires universal resonance about the search for meaning, and the enduring bonds of family and community.
© 2016 LizMars
The people and themes explored in this short film relate to the longer documentary currently in post-production, called MIDIAN FARM, by Liz Marshall.