In this moving portrait of a vanishing way of life, documentary filmmaker James Spione explores the century-long struggle of his mother's family to hold onto a small dairy farm near Cooperstown, N.Y. Drawing on remarkably intimate interviews with three generations of Ames family members, Spione chronicles the backbreaking work, agricultural innovation and determination in the face of tragedy that led to the success of the operation.
At the same time, "American Farm" reveals the profound shifts in attitude and long-simmering family conflicts that have created the current crisis: no one in the next generation is willing to take over the farm.
As he approaches 70 years of age, the director's cousin Langdon is now faced with selling a property that has been the center of family life for 150 years. Narrated entirely by the people that grew up there, "American Farm" is both powerful tribute to, and sober demystification of, one of America's most hallowed and least understood institutions.