“This doc goes beyond the romance of farming . . . Unflinching, compassionate, and beautiful.” – Michael Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire
On Her Own tells the story of Nancy Prebilich and her family as they struggle to save their 5th generation farm during the Great Recession. Yet On Her Own is about more than just one family’s struggle to keep their land out of foreclosure. It represents what is happening all across the U.S. as houses are foreclosed, families are forced to move apart for purely economic reasons, and small farms face ruthless competition from large factory farms & land developers. On Her Own explores the roles history and ancestry play in our present-day lives, asking: what happens when the cost of preserving family heritage is the family itself?
Filmmaker Morgan Schmidt-Feng’s inspiration for this project came from his desire to understand more about his own family’s history. Morgan’s mom, grandmother, great-grandparents grew up on a third-generation family farm in Badger, Iowa, and it was after a visit to this land several years ago that he began shooting On Her Own. Along with documenting the everyday difficulties of maintaining an independent local farm, the film tells a more personal story of loss, pain, responsibility, and resilience.
“The land is our identity. The animals we raise are our livelihood. We care for the land the same way our ancestors did. This is our home, and these are our children, our neighbors, our community we provide for.” – Nancy Prebilich, Gleason Ranch
On Her Own is about more than just one family struggling to keep their land out of foreclosure. The story asks what it means to give up everything for your history, your heritage, and your identity. It asks what it means to be part of a family, to care for the Earth and its inhabitants. Harnessing moments of celebration, sadness, tragedy, and joy, On Her Own becomes a powerful story of life, death, and the precious connection we hold with the natural world.
“I feel like what’s driven me thus far—what’s been the sort of unspoken family covenant up to this point—has been that in some place inside of each of us, we know that this pertains to something much bigger than ourselves.” – Nancy Prebilich, Gleason Ranch
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