Nomadland is a 2020 American drama which recently swept the Oscars for Best Picture, Director (Chloe Zhao), and Actress (Francis McDormand). It is based on the 2017 non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, by Jessica Bruder. The film follows a van-dwelling working nomad who leaves her hometown after her husband dies and the sole industry closes down, to be “houseless” and travel around the United States.
Both the book and the movie have clearly hit a cultural nerve, serving as both an indictment of the stratification of American society, as well as presenting relief through the mitagory lifestyle of “van-dwelling.” This basically involves converting a van or other motor-vehicle into a mobile living space as a means of saving money. This allows people to not be beholden to high-rents and other trappings inherent to maintaining a full lease for permanent housing in an ever-more expensive society.
Check out this extended PBS Newshour documentary, which discusses both the movie and book, and includes in-depth interviews with both Jessica Bruder and Bob Wells – the former is auther of the book and the latter is the YouTube sage of the van-dwelling lifestyle who has a supporting role in the film as a fictionilized version of himself. Enjoy!