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The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty confronts a terrifying new reality and will go to desperate lengths to save her family when they are threatened with being forced from their land. An old friend, struggling to keep his own farm profitable by any means necessary, offers Betty a way out. She refuses to get involved, but as the pressures mount for her family and they are on the brink of eviction, her husband, Frank, reveals that he is seriously ill. How far will one to go to take care of one’s own? Recalling all that is heartland Americana, this film combines an ecological urgency with a compelling yet sensitive story.

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Runoff movie full length review - Intelligent indie drama avoids the standard Hollywood pieties

This is not your usual tale of the embattled farm family vs. corporate greedheads, in other words, though that does factor into it.

Joanne Kelly is very effective as a Kentucky housewife who takes a tremendous risk (moral, legal and otherwise) to stave off a financial crisis?her family's business selling farmers the herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics they need to run a modern factory farm is losing ground to a corporate interloper (aptly named Gigas), her husband needs chemotherapy (the doctor utters the dread words "You understand there'll be some out-of-pocket costs"), and her teenage son, an aspiring artist who turns up with a black eye or a split lip occasionally, clearly needs to get out of their little town

The plotting's a bit sketchy at times, and the sound mix is murky, but the storyline's pretty intense and involving. Novice director KImberly Levin, trained as a biochemist, makes an engaging storyteller; my only complaints are that after a painstaking buildup, the abrupt ending's a bit of a letdown, and in a 90' film like this without much room for random background characters?small spoiler alert!?the childlike teenager with the toy sheriff's badge might just as well have been wearing a sweatshirt that says "Shit Happens." There are a few quite interesting shots of what goes on in these factory farms; I especially one where an intelligent-looking pig seems to be eavesdropping on the humans' conversation.