Search The Archive

Search the film archive

"Consistently lively and surprising … Peter and the Farm is a powerfully sad movie. But it's very funny, too. And poetic, and stomach-turning, and legitimately informative about farming … [a] near-masterpiece." – The AV Club

A haunting portrait of rural life, director Tony Stone's Peter and the Farm profiles a solitary and dark, yet undeniably charismatic, Vermont farmer: Peter Dunning.

Dunning has been managing the 187-acre (75 hectares) Mile Hill Farm in Vermont for nearly four decades. Inspired by 1960s counter-culture, his ambitions of becoming a poet and sculptor were derailed by an accident, with personal demons and errors of judgement transforming him into a belligerent, cynical, foul-mouthed loner with only his livestock as companions. His secluded lifestyle is now both a blessing and a curse.

Despite serene and richly textured visuals underscored by an evocative soundtrack featuring Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and Derrick May, the film's heart is its title character, a spellbinding storyteller whose wry humour and captivating life make for a vivid and remarkable 90 minutes. But those with a sensitivity towards animals should beware: nothing is held back in depicting life at Mile Hill Farm, most notably graphic visuals of the ‘paddock-to-plate' side of the farming experience.

"Like with Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men, you laugh at his comically gruff nature. But as the film progresses, Stone makes darker aspects of Dunning's life impossible to ignore." – The Guardian

Contains scenes of animal slaughter that may offend.