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The Farmer's Wife: A Film by David Sutherland (2006)

Juanita Buschkoetter , Darrel Buschkoetter , David Sutherland  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Juanita Buschkoetter, Darrel Buschkoetter
  • Directors: David Sutherland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,424 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Step inside the passionate, troubled lives of Juanita and Darrel Buschkoetter as they cling to family and farm. Part documentary, part love story, THE FARMER'S WIFE, by filmmaker David Sutherland, eloquently blends harsh American farm life with the bittersweet drama of modern marriage. Darrel labors night and day for a bumper crop while Juanita cleans houses and finishes college. Despite heavy obstacles, they rediscover the love that binds them together.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible and heartbreaking! January 6, 2006
Verified Purchase
If anyone ever wondered what the farming life is like, this documentary reveals how very difficult it can be to survive on a relatively small farm - in today's modern world of high tech farming. It is a gritty, backbreakingly hard life much of the time, waking up at dawn and falling into bed exhausted when all the chores are finally done and dinner has been eaten.

The couple shown in this documentary hold very little back as their marriage is pushed to the brink by the stress of making ends meet, raise a family and just get by. I first saw it back in 1996 and am delighted to be able to purchase it (finally) on DVD.

But be forewarned- this is not an easy film to watch, although it is an honest one. In unflinching detail, the grim reality of trying to "make it" as a farmer is portrayed. There isn't an ounce of romanticism here, no attempt to portray farm life as an idyllic retreat from city life, especially given the ending of this film.

What DOES come across is the commitment to the land that those on family farms struggle to maintain, doggedly determined to try and hang on to their legacy.

I wonder what happened to the couple in this film and hope the DVD provides some extra detail about that. Even if it does not, the film is worth watching because we should ALL be asking ourselves why small farms are being nearly impossible to find these days. This film answers some of those questions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most touching movies you will see August 29, 2006
This documentary grips you immediately. Or rather, it is the love story that this filmmaker captured that grips you - a love story between two decent, hard-working people who confront impossible challenges together. It makes you think what hard work and sacrafice really are.

There is a little bit of foul language as they came to grips with certain problems, but I didn't hesitate to show it to our kids (8 and 13) because even the foul language seems like a restrained and dignified reaction to the situations they contend with.

The documentary was shot over the course of three years! This allowed the film maker to capture the true-life highs and lows (extraordinary moments and events) and it teaches subtle but deep lessons in the dignity of hard work and determination, and the value of family and love enduring it all.

It is natural to wonder what happened to these two people after the cameras stopped, and it's disappointing to some extent to hear (according to the PBS website) that their marriage did not last forever. But that after-story does not undermine the power of this realistic and unflinching examination of farming and love. That people and marriages can endure so much for any period of time is an extraordinary tale.

I highly recommend The Farmer's Wife.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic story of real life drama February 27, 2007
Verified Purchase
This is the real 'Real World' documentary. The documentary shows true to life struggles of a young farm family trying to make it through rough times. The first time I watched this was on PBS when I was first married. I just purchased the dvd after something made me remember how much the story touched me. Watching it as a wife with plenty of life/marriage experiences I felt that I viewed the story from a different perspective. It's a great portrayal and I would love to know how the family is doing now, ten years later.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By M.C.
Since Amazon doesn't tell you, I will. This dvd's special features are: Interview with David & Nancy Sutherland, interview with the Buschkoetters, and Roger Welsch interview with Juanita Buschkoetter. I was so excited to read this on the back of the case when it arrived. I wanted to find out updates on the Buschkoetters (I've read on the internet that they've divorced). However, these interviews are from 1998 when The Farmer's Wife first aired! What a let down! I still am left wondering what happened to Juanita. Did she really get divorced? Did Darrel remain on the farm? This couple draws you in within minutes of watching this fantastic documentary. It's a shame that I stil have questions about their fate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Real" Reality Show March 9, 2010
A compassionate look at the struggles of a young farm family as they attempt to keep their Nebraska farm going in the face of seemingly unending obstacles. You will be amazed at the fortitiude and decency of this hardworking couple and their young daughters. Very candid and painfully hard to watch at times--a sympathetic and dramatic account of Middle America.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Farmer's Wife, David Sutherland film PBS December 5, 2007
I first watched this on PBS about 3 or 4 years ago with my husband. We were just fascinated with it. Unfortunately we missed the last episode or two and did not see the end. I have been searching for a copy to purchase and just this last month found a copy at a reasonable price. We are starting at the beginning again and are anxious to see the end. This story is compelling. Darrell is a man that does not know the word slow. Everything he does is at full speed. Even when exhausted he keeps going. Juanita is an intelligent, hard working mom who does as much as she can for her children, even with limited resources. Their frugalness makes me feel very spoiled. We have had our two children ( ages 14 and 12) watch this so they might better appreciate a farmers life and also appreciate what we have. This couple faced such hardship that I am amazed that they stayed married. I have not been able to find any recent information about them in the 10 years since this was filmed. I hope they were able to sustain their marriage and keep their children in a loving family. If anyone has any current information about them, I would appreciate hearing about it or reading a post here.
I would highly recommend this to anyone. It will make most of us appreciate the hard work that many farmers must do and still be at the mercy of the weather, mother nature, and the market. I am anxious to see what other work David Sutherland has done.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My all time favorite
Having been raised on a farm and understanding the daily tensions of making family and work for the benefit of all, this is at once a fascinating, terrifying, gripping,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ken A. Nisly-Nagele
3.0 out of 5 stars Slice of Life
When I saw this series on PBS I was transfixed, but when I watched the DVD I became aware of the artificiality of some of the scenes. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kexy Twosign
5.0 out of 5 stars Where there is life, there is hope!
The Buschkoetter family allowed a documentary crew into their home to follow them day and night for 3 years. Read more
Published 7 months ago by June Bug
5.0 out of 5 stars Harsh Realistic Perspective on Farming in the USA
This documentary followed a farming family through three years of the rollercoaster lives of farmers. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Shop Gal
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping documentary of one farmer and his family!
You will want to watch this over and over again. You'll want your friends and family to see it. It will educate and touch you in many ways and on many levels. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sebring
5.0 out of 5 stars farmers wife
loved it would like to know how they are all doing heard they are now divorced now would like to know more info
Published 13 months ago by jackie mccorkel
4.0 out of 5 stars Long.. and what it is about depends on your perspective
This is long... it would take an entire evening to watch. But I heard most Americans watch four hours of TV every day, so turn off your tv for a day and watch this. Read more
Published 14 months ago by E. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
personal view of a farming couple struggling after 4 years of drought. This woman is practically a saint. Read more
Published 21 months ago by mr. contrarian
5.0 out of 5 stars as real as it gets...
I watched this when it came out in the the time i was a young farmer going through some of the same things as they was the hardest thing i ever watched... Read more
Published on February 8, 2012 by illinoisgunguy
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the Farmers's Wife?
If this documentary did'nt scare you 11 years ago it should terrify you now. I remember watching it then and just finished a second veiwing tonight. Read more
Published on April 8, 2011 by rj. kerr
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