This American Gothic

63 minutes | 2008 I 16mm + DVCAM

A Picture About a Picture and the Town that Inspired It

"In the spirit of documentary filmmaker Errol Morris who gave us Gates of Heaven in 1978 comes This American Gothic. Like Morris, Waters Freyer has captured with humor, local dialogue, and credible references, the persona of small-town America." – The Santa Fe New Mexican


This American Gothic is a history of one of the most famous paintings in the world and a quirky portrait of Eldon, Iowa, population 998, site of the house that inspired it. The film follows four local women over two years as they work towards their dream of a Gothic House Visitor Center to attract tourists and save their fading rural community.  


Des Moines Arts Center                                                                                Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL                                                            Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival                                                                Biografilm Festival, Bologna, Italy   

Santa Fe Film Festival, NM                                                                              Rome Independent Film Festival
Wisconsin Film Festival   

Athens Int’l Film & Video Festival, OH     

Fargo Film Festival

The American West Center, Salt Lake City

Portland Women's Film Festival , OR

Utopia Film Festival Greenbelt, MD

Rural Route Film Festival

Rockport Film Festival, TX
Estes Park Film Festival, CO
Detroit Docs International Film Festival

Whitman College

Beloit International Film Festival, WI, 

Free Range Film Festival, Wrenshaw, MN

Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, IA

Central Florida Film Festival, Ocoee, FL

We, the People Documentary Festival, Los Angeles, CA

Landlocked Film Festival, Iowa City, IA

Hardacre Film Festival, Tipton, IA

Lakedance International Film Festival, Sandpoint, ID 

Washougal Int’l Film Festival, WA,

Independent Media Center, Urbana-Champagn, IL,


Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

and the Graham Foundation.                             



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Chicago Reader

Little Village Magazine
The Santa Fe New Mexican