Right from the start of October Country, you know you’re going to be spending time in a small town in the Mohawk Valley of New York. This setup conjures the possibility of getting to know the real people behind the offbeat, lovable characters of, say, Empire Falls, Nobody’s Fool, or any made-for-film Richard Russo novel. The reality of watching a year in the life of one poor, fucked-up Herkimer County family cut down to 80 minutes is less idyllic. In fact, it’s unquestionably depressing, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In the tradition of some really good, if depressing, fucked-up family documentaries made by members of their own families (Capturing the Friedmans, Frank & Cindy), the cigarette-flecked world of the Moshers is absorbing. Revelations about this family’s unending cycle of teen pregnancy, abuse, and dysfunction are small and few, but revelations are not the point. Reality—artful, intimate, and crude—is.
At 9:15 p.m.; also on Sunday, June 21, at 7:45 p.m. at AFI Silver Theatre.