Monrovia, Indiana (film)

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Monrovia, Indiana
Film poster for Monrovia, Indiana.jpg
Film poster
Directed byFrederick Wiseman
CinematographyJohn Davey
Civic Film
Distributed byZipporah Films
Release date
  • September 4, 2018 (2018-09-04) (Venice)
  • September 30, 2018 (2018-09-30) (US)
Running time
143 minutes
CountryUnited States

Monrovia, Indiana is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Frederick Wiseman.[1] The film documents daily life in the titular small farming community of Monrovia, Indiana. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2018, and made its premiere in the United States on September 30, 2018 at the New York Film Festival.[2]


The film's official synopsis reads: “The film explores the conflicting stereotypes and illustrates how values like community service, duty, spiritual life, generosity and authenticity are formed, experienced and lived. The film gives a complex and nuanced view of daily life in Monrovia and provides some understanding of a rural, mid-American way of life that has always been important in America but whose influence and force have not always been recognized or understood in the big cities on the east and west coasts of America and in other countries.”[2]


Box office[edit]

As of November 11, 2018, the film has grossed an estimated $36,334 in the United States since its theatrical release on October 26, 2018.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 46 reviews, and an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Monrovia, Indiana finds Frederick Wiseman observing the citizens of one small American town with his typically patient—and ultimately revealing—approach."[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 79 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5]

A.O. Scott of The New York Times praised the film, calling Wiseman "the greatest American poet" and noting that the release's proximity to the 2016 United States presidential election "is hardly an idle or random decision, and the unavoidable political implications of Monrovia, Indiana give its observations an undeniable urgency."[6] Mike D'Angelo of The A.V. Club criticized the film for not being directly political given its historical context, calling it "maddeningly evasive" and "so resolutely ordinary that it threatens to cross the line into outright dull."[7]


  1. ^ Monrovia, Indiana, retrieved 2018-11-14
  2. ^ a b Erbland, Kate (2018-08-14). "'Monrovia, Indiana': Frederick Wiseman's New Documentary About Small Town America Set for Fall Release — Exclusive". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  3. ^ "Monrovia, Indiana (2018) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  4. ^ Monrovia, Indiana (2018), retrieved 2018-11-14
  5. ^ Monrovia, Indiana, retrieved 2018-11-14
  6. ^ "Review: 'Monrovia, Indiana' Is a Sharp, Lyrical Look at Small-Town America". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  7. ^ D'Angelo, Mike. "Right now, even Frederick Wiseman shouldn't get away with an apolitical look at small-town America". Film. Retrieved 2018-11-14.

External links[edit]