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Monrovia, Indiana

The film about a small farming town from a famed documentarian is currently in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 78

For his 41st feature film, celebrated documentarian Frederick Wiseman chose the agricultural town of Monrovia, Indiana, as a setting through which he could explore small-town America. Wiseman has often trained his camera on American institutions, frequently in large cities, to wryly and wisely show how we live with one another; Monrovia, Indiana is a vital addition to his canon at a time when many Americans are thinking and talking about “real America.”

The film gently and humorously observes Monrovia residents as they go about their everyday lives, attending everything from town council meetings, Freemason meetings, and middle school band performances to grocery shopping, weddings, funerals, and morning hangouts at the local diner. The result is a nuanced portrait of small town America by one of the most important figures in documentary filmmaking working today.