Filmmaker Deborah Stratman offers an impressionistic look at America's obsession with self-defense and weaponry in the wake of 9/11 in this offbeat documentary. In 1959, Col. William Rankin was an Air Force pilot who was forced to eject himself from a fighter jet at an altitude of 48,000 feet; Rankin pulled his parachute, but drifted into a thunderstorm that whipped him about for 45 minutes before he safely made his way to dry land. Rankin's remarkable story is used as a framing device as Stratman observes a wide range of unconnected but oddly similar phenomena as she presents footage of revolutionary war reenactments, high school football games, gun shows complete with makeshift shooting ranges, a gathering of RV enthusiasts and much more. Stratman's impressive skills as a cinematographer and her subtle wit allow this collection of disparate elements to cohere into something telling and remarkable. O'er The Land received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
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