The First Season

The First Season

Available on Prime Video
The true cost of owning a piece of the American Dream is frankly demonstrated in The First Season, chronicling the trials and tribulations of an American family trying to make a go of it as novice dairy farmers. Determined to live off the land just like their forefathers, Paul and Phyllis Van Amburgh quit the city life and relocate their young family to a defunct dairy farm in upstate New York. Their bumpy road to survival is candidly documented in this revealing debut directorial effort by Rudd Simmons. Armed with plenty of idealism but not much in the way of prior experience, the Van Amburghs certainly have their work cut out for themselves. Simmons and his cameras are there to capture all the daily chores and precarious acts of checkbook balancing that is the lot of today's farmers. While they come across as a couple with a healthy marriage, the financial challenges and the long hours eventually put a strain on their back-to-the-basics good intentions. That stripped down approach also extends to the film's style, backed by Paul Brill's simple acoustic score and an up-close-and-personal style that's immersive to the point of giving the viewer the distinct impression that they've stepped in something.
Director Rudd Simmons