About movie

I’m not leaving Eldon

Original title I’m not leaving Eldon


The state of Iowa is the largest producer of soya and corn in the U.S.. In the town of Eldon, Iowa, the multi-national corporations, Cargill and John Deere, are the most important employers – predominantly in the low income bracket. The town has almost no public services. The houses are often placed between vast fields. Five young people talk about their daily lives in this rural area. Firing and outsourcing are real threats. Besides all this, the protagonists are labelled with negative stereotypes: white trash, rednecks and hillbillies.

The five friends from Eldon are very close to each other. They often meet without arranging it. Their houses and cars don’t need to be locked. The protagonists describe the local changes in Eldon. Why stay despite the bad employment opportunities? How do they deal with their negative stereotypes? Why is freedom more important than a career? Creative solutions and a strong sense of community are essential in this rural region.

An anthropological documentary about unlocked doors, fun and conflict in geographical isolation.

Author/s Jessica Bollag

Jessica Bollag has recently completed her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology, with a focus on Visual Anthropology at the University of Bern. She is currently working at the Federal Office of Culture and was working as assisting teacher at the University of Bern. Her research interests are in the field of Anthropology of work, social class and ethnographic filmmaking.

Research Jessica Bollag
Photography Jessica Bollag
Sound Jeff Jackson of Fifth of Country
Editing Jessica Bollag