There has never been a movie quite like "Northfork," but if you wanted to put it on a list, you would also include "Days of Heaven" and "Wings of Desire." It has the desolate open spaces of the first, the angels of the second, and the feeling in both of deep sadness and pity. The movie is visionary and elegiac, more a fable than a story, and frame by frame, it looks like a portfolio of spaces so wide, so open, that men must wonder if they have a role beneath such indifferent skies.
The film is set in Montana in 1955, as the town of Northfork prepares to be submerged forever beneath the waters of a dam. Three two-man Evacuation Teams travel the countryside in their fat black sedans, persuading the lingering residents to leave. The team members have a motivation: They have all been promised waterfront property on the lake to come. Most of the residents have already pulled out, but one stubborn citizen opens fire on Evacuators, and another plans to ride out the flood waters in his Ark, which does not have two of everything but does have two wives, a detail Noah overlooked.
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