I just feel like nature humbles you & puts you in perspective: Chloé Zhao, Dir of ‘Nomadland’

Asha Bajaj
5 min readOct 25, 2020

#TIFF2020; #Nomadland; #ChloéZhao; #FrancesMcDormand; #Nomad; #AmericanWest

Toronto, Oct 25: During one of the conversations series organized by the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) held at Toronto, Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director & Co-Head of TIFF catches up with Chloé Zhao, director, and producer of the film, ‘Nomadland’, winner of TIFF 2020 People’s Choice Award, in which Chloe balances the successful creation of the larger landscape of the vast portrait of contemporary American West against a more intimate portrait of Fern.

Image Chloe Zhao. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Asha Bajaj, Editorial-Director of Canadian-Media brings you the excerpts:


Cameron to Chloe: Chloe, in the film ‘Nomadland’, how did you balance the successful creation of the larger landscape of the vast portrait of contemporary America against a more intimate portrait of Fern?

Chloe: Well from the very beginning I wanted Fern to be a guide to be able to bring us into this vast rich world of Nomadic living. Having tackled a big community with colorful characters in my first movie, I learned to anchor the audience into one person’s intimate experience so that they can comfortably experience everything else without any loss.

Frances McDormand playing Fern, nomad. Image credit: TIFF

To Chloe: One of the first things we learn about Fern is her freedom, But as we see more about her on the road, we see more layers including the very self-protective sense she has that may look like freedom to others. Can you comment on that?

I personally think that Fern was always a true nomad deep inside. And when she finally left the house after her husband’s death and hits the road as a widow, picking up odd jobs when she gets them. But mostly she just wanders, meeting fellow wanderers and taking in the beauty of the American frontier. it took her some time to figure out who she really is. I do think hopefully when you watch the movie in the end she is on the road which…

Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women