Buried deep in the rural fields of the Great Plains is Canan Town, a town joyously run by the wonderfully benevolent, boot stomping, gospel singing-preacher Lord Carmichael.
On the eve of the great dust storms of the 1930’s, and having lost everything in the ’29 stock market crash, a penniless Vera and Everett Platt find out their adoptive father has died and left his farm to them. After many years away in Chicago, the couple return by night-train to the town they vaguely remember and take up residence in the old family farmhouse. After a rousing welcome, the couple soon find themselves at odds with the townsfolk and come to recognize how subjective the Preacher’s interpretation of the bible is.
The beating sun, a drought, dying livestock, impending dust storms combined with biblical rederick and primitive, gospel infused music form the backdrop for what becomes a psychological witch-hunt of Vera and Everett, pitting them up against the preacher and his unwavering religious constitution. Having the only fruitful property amidst the region’s massive drought, the couple desperately search for explanations, often at night, crossing paths with cagey old-timers, prohibition bars and brothels, while bearing witness to a rash of accusatory deaths occurring around town.
Bringing together great films like The Night of the Hunter, There Will be Blood, Elmer Gantry and Days of Heaven, Lord Only Knows I’m Gone takes the rural vernacular and explores its dark undercurrents and unrelenting oppressiveness.