(MILLERTON, N.Y.) – “Peter and the Farm,” a full-length documentary by Tony Stone, about the irascible loner, Peter Dunning, will be screened at the Moviehouse on Sunday, January 22, at 11am. The event is free, and the filmmaker will be in attendance to lead a post-screening discussion and Q&A.
Peter Dunning is a rugged individualist in the extreme, a hard-drinking loner and former artist who has burned bridges with his wives and children and whose only company, even on harsh winter nights, are the sheep, cows, and pigs he tends on his Vermont farm. Peter is also one of the most complicated, sympathetic documentary subjects to come along in some time, a product of the 1960s counter-culture whose poetic idealism has since soured. For all his candor, he slips into drunken self-destructive habits, cursing the splendors of a pastoral landscape that he has spent decades nurturing. Imbued with an aching tenderness, Tony Stone’s documentary is both haunting and heartbreaking, a mosaic of its singular subject’s transitory memories and reflections — however funny, tragic, or angry they may be.
Co-produced by Melissa Auf der Maur, who owns Basilica Hudson with Stone, the film received critical acclaim, including a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Shot over many years in rural Vermont, “Peter and the Farm” takes viewers deep into the life of Peter Dunning. It’s not a romantic portrait of a farmer, but a close look, warts and all, of an authentic American anti-hero.