The inspiration for the film Nomadland starring Frances McDormand, winner of both the Golden Lion at Venice and the People’s Choice Award at Toronto.
From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labour pool, made up largely of transient older adults. This is the 60- and a 70-something generation whose economic future was shattered by the 2008 crash. They are grey-haired and middle-class. Reduced to poverty, they can’t afford to retire but can’t afford to work while maintaining a home. So they have become nomads, a new American tribe roaming the country in camper vans in which they sleep, looking for seasonal work in bars, restaurants and warehouses.
Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of people who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.