Scene from the film I’m not Leaving Eldon
Scene from the film I’m not Leaving Eldon
Scene from the film I’m not Leaving Eldon
Scene from the film I’m not Leaving Eldon
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I’m not Leaving Eldon

  • Switzerland
Audio Tracks 

The state of Iowa is the largest producer of soy and corn in the U.S.. In the town of Eldon, Iowa, the multi-national corporations, Cargill and John Deere, are the most important job sources - mostly in the low income bracket. In the town there are hardly any public services. The houses are often placed between vast fields. Five young people talk about their daily lives in this rural area. Firing and outsourcing are real threats. Beside all this, the protagonists are labeled with negative stereotypes: white trash, rednecks and hillbillies.

The five friends of Eldon are very close to each other. They often meet unannounced. Their houses and cars don’t need to be locked. The protagonists describe the local changes of Eldon. Why stay despite bad job opportunities? How do they deal with their negative stereotypes? Why is freedom more important than a career? Creative solutions and a strong sense of community are essential in this rural region.

An anthropological documentary about unlocked doors, fun and conflict in geographical isolation.


  • Original title
    I’m not Leaving Eldon
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Jessica Bollag
  • DOP
    Jessica Bollag
  • Editing
    Jessica Bollag
  • Duration
    49 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Switzerland
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Festivals
    • Ethnografilm Paris, France
    • Days of Ethnographic Film Ljubljana, Slovenia
    • International Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec, Canada
    • University of British Columbia International Festival of Anthropology Film, Vancouver, Canada
    • Ethnographic Film Festival Kratovo, Macedonia
    • Ethnocineca International Documentary Filmfestival Vienna, Austria
    • Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival, Minneapolis, U S A
  • Awards
    • Best Graduate Student Film - Festival of Visual Culture Viscult Joensuu, Finland
    • Nomination Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award - Ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival Vienna is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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