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Review of For Love of the Land Directed by Cynthia Matty-Huber

To a lot of people in this world, leaving a legacy is fundamental to what it is to be human. They work relentlessly throughout their lives so that they can make an impact on future generations. However, for some people ‘it is a very complicated situation’, as told by John Hoiland in the film ‘For Love of the Land”. Directed by Cynthia Matty-Huber, ‘For Love of the Land’ casts light on the predicament a lot of American ranchers face. After working on their valuable lands for decades, they do not know to whom they should leave this land.

Throughout the 35 minutes of the film, we follow the daily life of John Hoiland and hear him recount fond memories of his ancestral house and property. John is a 94-year-old rancher in Montana, USA, who has always stayed with his parents and is now faced with the problem of leaving his legacy, as he has no children of his own. As we hear him recount his memories, we feel the deep connection that he shares with his land and his ancestors, and feel sympathetic towards him. John is, undeniably a living testament to the remarkable era in the American West, when ranching had arrived.

Director Cynthia Matty-Huber has a clear affinity for narrating human interest stories that shed light on the diversity of people's experiences. ‘For Love of the Land’ seems to be a labor of that love. As the film follows John Hoiland, we see how he is disheartened by the growing apathy towards land that's shown by the new generations. He tries to find out ways to preserve his land so that it is not developed and segregated immediately after he goes away. For the current generations, people like John serve as living reminders of the bygone era where love for one’s land reigned supreme. Their ways of life and perspectives deserve to be remembered by us.

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