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Land Of Plenty

Land Of PlentyLana has been away from the United
  States Of America for some years and
  on her return, less than twenty-four
  hours after the second anniversary of
  the attacks on the Twin Towers, she
  finds that the country of her birth is far
  from the Land Of Plenty she
d been
  led to believe...”

AS LANA SWENSON'S PLANE TOUCHES DOWN at Los Angeles airport, in another part of the city Staff Sergeant Paul Jeffries (John Diehl: The Far Side Of Jericho, Jurassic Park III) is watching from a van for possible terrorist activity in the city. He sees two Arabs with boxes labelled 'Borax' but loses sight of them…

A retired Green Beret, Paul is obsessed with protecting his homeland and waging war against terror. Shot down in combat near Long Thanh at 18, he is now experiencing the increasing psychological effects of dioxin poisoning, the result of being exposed to Agent Pink exfoliate more than thirty years ago.

Having ignored letters from his sister — who married a missionary working abroad — Paul has no idea that his niece Lana is in LA. But with the events of 9/11, the ghosts of his traumatic past in Vietnam have returned to haunt Paul. And the last thing that he would ever admit to is fear.

Lana (Oscar™ nominee Michelle Williams: I'm Not There, Brokeback Mountain) is met at the airport by Henry (Wendell Pierce: The Wire), the pastor of the Downtown Mission that serves the huge homeless community of America's Hunger Capital where she will be working.

A horrified Lana films the appalling conditions of the homeless and, at the Mission, she meets two of them — Hassan (Shaun Toub: The Kite Runner, Iron Man), who tells her "my home is not a place, it is people" and the outgoing Dee Dee (Rhonda Stubbins White).

Lana is constantly in touch with her friend Yael in Tel Aviv and sends him the footage she shot, swapping news. Yael tells her that rubber bullets and tear gas were used at The Wall but that nobody was hurt. Astonishingly, he says, there were nearly as many Israelis protesting as there were Palestinians.

Lana wants to track down her estranged uncle and, at his home, his friend Jimmy (Richard Edson: The Astronaut Farmer, The Kid And I) gives her Paul's cell phone number. But all is not well.

Aware of reports of an Islamic militant group in Trinidad that has threatened both the UK and the US with chemical attacks, Paul has spotted Hassan and identified him as a suspect, following him to a chemical works. Lana finds her telephone conversation with him short, offhand and disappointing — and he makes no plans to meet her.

When Hassan is gunned down in the street from a black Hummer in a drive-by close to the mission, Paul has just relocated the Arab and as the dying Hassan is taken into the mission, he manages to say just one word: "Trona". Paul speaks briefly to Lana and she is delighted to make the connection with him, but at this stage is unaware of his inner torment.

Jimmy has confirmed that Borax could, in the form of Boron, be used in explosives and tells Paul that Trona is a town pretty much built by International Boron Chemicals 180 miles away in Death Valley. Deeply suspicious, Paul decides to go to Trona to investigate further.

Meanwhile, Lana has been able to trace Hassan's brother Yusef (who calls himself 'Joe') and is keen to get Hassan's body to him in Trona. Paul is becoming increasingly agitated and paranoid but nevertheless reluctantly agrees to take his niece and Hassan's body with him to Trona.

Was the drive-by shooting really just a random killing or is it part of something more sinister? Will Paul find the sleeper cells he expects in Trona or a peaceful community? Land Of Plenty is a vision of America through the eyes of two very different people: a patriotic and very troubled Vietnam veteran and an idealistic young woman. And Paul's reclusive existence as a supposed homeland security officer collapses as he allows Lana in and their different views of the world collide radically.

With a backdrop of Downtown LA, Land Of Plenty is a reflection of Wim Wenders' anger at the American government's response to the events of 11 September 2001 and is a darkly humorous and poignant essay on contemporary America.

Land Of Plenty is one of Wim Wenders' most impassioned films — an urgent call for harmony in a world torn apart by violence and extremism. This excellent film is mysteriously beautiful; touching on America's controversial decisions over Iraq and the 'war' against terrorism following 9/11 alongside the story of a compassionate, peace-loving young woman dealing with her tragically disturbed uncle in cleverly ponderous Wim Wenders style.

Land Of Plenty earned the Official Selection in Competition, Venice Film Festival 2004; and Winner of the Unesco Award, Venice Film Festival 2004. The film was also Nominated for Best Female Lead, Independent Spirit Awards 2007.

The film also features Burt Young as Sherman; Yuri Z Elvin as Officer Elvin and Jeris Lee Poindexter as Charles. Land Of Plenty is a story by Director Wim Wenders and Scott Derrickson and is written by Michael Meredith and Wim Wenders; Producers are In-Ah Lee, Samson Mücke, Gary Winick and Jake Abraham; Director of Photography is Fraz Lustig; Editor is Moritz Laube and the fabulous original Score is Composed and Produced by Thom & Nackt. Leonard Cohen is also central to the film score, and Wim Wenders says of Ten New Songs: "It's a brilliant album, sharp and accurate and utterly contemporary, yet not polemical… My favourite song was Land Of Plenty… the perfect title for the film…"

Axiom Films presents Land Of Plenty, A Wim Wenders Film now available on DVD (release date 27 October, 2008). Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 120 minutes | RRP: £19.99 | Catalogue No: AXM555.

DVD Bonus Features: Interview with Wim Wenders; The Making of Land Of Plenty; Deleted Scenes; Trailer; Stills Gallery; English subtitles for Hearing Impaired; Optional 5.1 Surround Sound; Reversible Sleeve with Wenders Classics underside for collectors.

"A thoughtful look at a post-9/11 United States from one of its most caring long-time observers" — Los Angeles Times

"Wenders' most vital work in more than a decade" — LA Weekly

"Land Of Plenty sets the grand style of Wenders, his science of framing, the beauty of his digital images and his unrivalled filmmaking" — Le Monde

"Wenders has crafted a thoughtful exploration of the impact of that infamous day [9/11]… powerful" — The Hollywood Reporter

"An enthralling look at American culture as it comes to grips with terrorism" — Filmlink

"Wenders is an incomparable filmmaker" — Premiere

"This excellent film is mysteriously beautiful; touching on America's controversial decisions over Iraq and the 'war' against terrorism following 9/11 alongside the story of a compassionate, peace-loving young woman dealing with her tragically disturbed uncle in cleverly ponderous Wim Wenders style" — MotorBar