Nomandland: A journey towards self-discovery through the lens of director Chole Zao

Chloé Zhao

And what it means to have self-liberation

Nomadland is an independent western film directed, written, edited, and co-produced by Chloé Zhao that quietly examines life. Nomadland is based on a nonfiction novel, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, written by Jessica Bruder and screens some real-life nomads as well. The film tries to tour a nomadic life with its perks and cons in between. Her film is about the damaged American dream who won the best picture, the best director and the best actress at the 2020 Oscars.

“I have always found goodness in the people I met, everywhere I went in the world.” said the stunning director of this phenomenal film, Chloé Zhao. She portrays a world where you are not bound by materialistic needs or aspirations. You are liberated from societal structures like home, friends, family etc. It is a journey through which she wants to communicate about what it means to have a home as a human being in this capital-driven world. 

Through the main protagonist of her film, Fern, she established the idea of not having a home and how it’s the journey to find the destination that matters in life and not the destination itself. Fern is totally clueless about her next stop in life after losing both her family and job. She struggled to let go of her attachments to her deceased spouse, and her only material possession is a van.

Nomandland has shown us how important goodbyes are in our life. To truly discover ourselves, we have to let go of the things we are attached to. It’s the hardest thing you will ever have to do but in the end, it’s all worth it. As rightly said in the film, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” And in that process, know our true identity. 

  • Written by Kamalika Basu

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