Every winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,thousands of people go to Sault Ste. Marie for the International 500, which is the largest and longest single-day snow mobile race in the world. But for the people that live there and compete in the race, it’s just a natural part of life. In the cinéma vérité documentary Northern Light, director Nick Bentgen follows three such families over the course of their lives, not only as they prepare for the race, but also as they struggle to make ends meet and live a normal life in contemporary recession-era America, where jobs and fulfillment are increasingly difficult to come by. Like a real-life Friday Night Lights set in the Upper Peninsula, daily existence in a small town and the sport that fuels it blend together in a sobering portrait of a seldom explored corner of Michigan.
Special thanks to our community partner Nicholson’s.
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Director: Nick Bentgen