In 1910, Bill, a Chicago steel worker accidentally kills his supervisor. He flees to the Texas panhandle with his lover Abby and his little sister Linda, where they work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer. When Bill learns that the farmer is ill and has less than a year to live, he encourages Abby to accept the man's attentions. The Farmer and Abby marry, and she and her "siblings" live in the big house, waiting for the Farmer to die, so Abby can inherit, and the three of them live happily ever after. But love seems to be a cure-all: the Farmer seems to be improving--and Abby is no longer seeing this as a marriage of convenience. From a landscape of panoramic vistas, vivid colors, and rich textures comes a timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.
Going places -- Work -- Harvest -- Abby -- Prognosis -- Job ends -- Tired -- Staying on -- Future -- Marriage -- Rich -- Out for a walk -- "I don't know you" -- Flying circus -- Business -- Return -- Locusts -- "Nobody's perfect" -- Hunted -- New beginnings.
Still photography by Bruno Engler
Filmed in Southern Alberta and Waterton National Park
Special features: Commentary with Jack Fisk, Billy Weber, Patricia Norris, and Dianne Crittenden [audio feature]; Interview with Richard Gere [audio feature] (22 min.); Interview with Sam Shepard (13 min.); Interview with John Bailey (21 min.); Interview with Haskell Wexler (12 min.). Booklet includes essays "On Earth as it is in heaven" by Adrian Martin and "Shooting 'Days of Heaven'" by Nestor Almendros.