Nomadland: A "short-term" lifestyle or a freeway?

Beautiful and haunting. “Nomadland” is a counter-argument to the definition of the standard way of life, where there are different destinies and choices.
Reading time 5 minutes

In the heart of the city, we are the link of the hustle and bustle of work, rarely resting. We meet familiar faces every day, go through the same roads every day. Overcoming the crowd of people, we take refuge under the roof of what we call the most peaceful place, so we tidy and upgrade every corner of that house, whenever possible. That loop is, perhaps, a common denominator for most urban dwellers.
On a weekend night to relax, we immediately find some entertainment that is "worth" a bit of work, and we remember, just recently, there was a movie by the first Asian-American female director to win this year's Oscar. The rustic look of director Chloé Zhao makes people curious. The wood in her face is no makeup, simple and that is also the spirit she shows in the film in a sharp way. naked about the human interior, from Fern's point of view, the elderly woman chooses a nomadic lifestyle, selling most of her material possessions, leaving only her old car as a home.



“Home” is just a name? Or is it something you carry within yourself?

With that lifestyle, Fern roamed the harsh, deserted American West, stopping and walking to earn a living by seasonal jobs. That is also what Fern and the people she meets along the way. They choose to leave to gain freedom, a choice that is almost contrary to modern standards of living. Today's success is all about having a home, a car, a social status, and "nomadic" freedom that is beyond those standards. Through idyllic footage, "Nomadland" has opened up many thoughts. , the view of a nomadic lifestyle contrasts with modern consumerism. The way of bringing up a very topical topic and giving the viewer the right to "think" objectively creates an epochal value for "Nomadland". 
There are many possible explanations for the nomadic journey in "Nomadland." You can think of it as carefree improvisations that drag on an endless journey. For example, when Fern first met Dave, a friend who was too proactive when helping her at a stop, he accidentally dropped a souvenir plate from Fern's father causing her to scream. The ring when reassembling the plate means a lot, especially to someone like Fern who chooses to give up most of her possessions.
The second time he meets Dave, he wishes Fern would stay with him in his family's cozy home. Fern could choose to "go home" at any time, but she chose the "road" where she was free. A friend of Fern's refused to be treated in the hospital to begin a nomadic journey. Without hesitation, she got where she needed to go and then passed away in a gentle farewell just the way she had wished. With the lives in the film, "Nomadland" skillfully touches the profound messages about choice and fate.



With the lives in the film, "Nomadland" skillfully touches the profound messages about choice and fate.

The good thing about "Nomadland" is that it doesn't show judgment as to which lifestyle is right or wrong. Decisions are made with each character's personality. The nomads have their own reasons. Many people don't want to struggle. Some people are generous, consider freedom as happiness, some people don't want to bury themselves in the hospital with too many regrets about their unfinished experiences. The image of drifting in the middle of the poetic water seems to wash away all the dust and wash away the sufferings of human life.


Every choice contains a contradiction that we must face. Like her sister Fern once confessed that in her stable comfort, she once had a desire to change that boring circle, but was not brave enough like Fern. Stepping out of the "circle of stability" to gain freedom, Fern at the same time must receive an almost permanent feeling of uncertainty and loneliness. nomadic people. Their lives are uncertain, do not know what tomorrow will be like. Feeling empty is inevitable. Although always smiling and being kind to those around, Fern's eyes are always shining. with sadness, with nostalgia that near the end of the film, new wounds are revealed. Loops are planted in the movie, when the first scene Fern opens the garage under the white snow, then the end is when the car goes away in the gloomy white snow like before.

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Fern meets friends on a nomadic journey, shares life stories, sometimes shares a cigarette
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The lonely scene of "Nomadland" when Fern walks away, alone under the white snow

Small emotional pieces create a simple but powerful "Nomadland". Veteran actress Frances McDormand has "lived in" the character of Fern as if it were herself, expressing the complex inner layers of the film. The life of a nomad is both peaceful and contradictory, in a situation that confronts common values. The nomadic friends' Fern meets are also very special, as they are rare "exceptions" in the cinema. They are real-life nomads, portraying themselves under their own name: Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells, they bring authenticity, and the pursuit of a different meaning of life. The nomadic spirit is captured by a meaningful saying by Bob Wells: “I don't ever say a final goodbye. I always just said, 'I'll see you down the road.' And I do." 
That quote proves the deep connection between people because no goodbye is forever. A small community that turns in many directions on winding roads, that common ground makes them strange and then familiar. Friends will meet again after a long journey, only no one knows, no one promises for how long. 

"I mean the importance of solitude. Solitude in nature. When you're in the middle of nature, nothing defines you except that you're part of it." - Chloe Zhao



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