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The Independent Critic

Richard Hyde, Haskell Phillips, Bryan Shane Allen
Edward Radtke
Edward Radtke, M.S. Nieson
83 Mins.
Facets DVD
Original Year- 1991; All Regions; Full Frame; Limited Edition; B&W and Color
 "Bottom Land" Review  
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Who knew that experimental Americana filmmaking could be intertwined with such tremendous success?

In the latest release from the Facets DVD Limited Edition series, Edward Radtke's 1992 low-budget indie Bottomland has been remastered and repackaged for release and the result is a deeply moving yet uncompromising look inside three generations of men in crisis.

Radtke's debut, Bottomland follows Stephen Saunders (Richard Hyde), who returns to his home six months after the death of his wife in an accident to find a strained relationship with his fearful son and a disapproving father who've themselves forged a bond in Stephen's absence.

At a quick 75 minutes, Bottomland has the feeling of an old Henry Fonda film with its fundamental family conflicts, down home values and, at its very core, lessons about humanity, relationships, loss and grief. While the film is led by a trio of fine actors in what is basically a three person drama, the film is likely to have strong appeal to anyone who has ever wrestled with healing family relationships or how to resolve the unresolvable.

Filmed on a modest budget estimated at $100,000, the production benefits from John Inwood's intimate camera work and an original score by Jim Young that heightens the tension between the three key players.

While the story itself is involving, Bottomland is among the least satisfying of the intensely rewarding Facets Limited Edition DVD series, an effort by the distributor out of Chicago to bring to the forefront lost, rare and under-distributed titles by acclaimed filmmakers.

For more information on Bottomland and the rest of the Limited Edition series, visit the FACETS DVD website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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