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Monrovia, Indiana: A Deep-Dive into Mid-America's Values and Way of Life

"Monrovia, Indiana" is an intimate exploration of small-town America, shedding light on the values and way of life often overlooked in big city narratives.

Keywords: Rural America, Frederick Wiseman, Community Values, Small-Town Life, Authenticity, Stereotypes. Three-words: Insightful, Revealing, Authentic.


"Monrovia, Indiana" is a moving documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman and released in 2018. The film offers an intimate look into a small rural town in mid-America, exploring its values, community service, spiritual life, and authenticity. It shines a spotlight on a way of life often overlooked in big city narratives and international perspectives.


The film is a thought-provoking journey through the daily life of a mid-American town. It paints a complex and nuanced picture of the town's community service, duty, spiritual life, generosity, and authenticity. The film offers an insightful look into the town's conflicting stereotypes and the influence and force of a way of life often misunderstood or unrecognized.

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Wiseman adopts an observational style, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the town's everyday routines and interactions. The research is thorough, resulting in a deep exploration of the subject matter. The presentation style is subtle yet impactful, letting the town and its inhabitants speak for themselves.

Historical and Factual Context


Monrovia, Indiana, is a small town of approximately 1,000 residents. Its history dates back to the 19th century and it epitomizes the mid-American rural experience.

Key themes in the film

  • The strength and importance of community in small-town America
  • The contrast between rural and urban American life
  • The influence and impact of mid-American values on a national scale

Film Comparisons

Unlike other films on iWonder that focus on metropolitan areas or global issues, "Monrovia, Indiana" provides a unique perspective on rural American life.

Noteworthy Moments

A key revelation in the film is the depth of community spirit and generosity in Monrovia, challenging the stereotype of small-town narrow-mindedness.


The documentary has been well-received, with an IMDB score of 7. It boasts 1 win and 4 nominations in various film festivals, highlighting its impact and quality.


"Monrovia, Indiana" is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the heart of rural America. Its nuanced portrayal of community values and rural life makes it an enlightening watch.

More film information:


  • IMDB Score: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
  • Metacritic Score: N/A
  • Awards: 1 Win & 4 Nominations



Frederick Wiseman, Director



Monrovia, Indiana

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. How do small-town values influence broader American culture?
  2. What are some of the most common misconceptions about rural life?

Monrovia, Indiana – Wikipedia:,_Indiana
Small Town America, Examined: A Review of Wiseman's Monrovia, Indiana – NPR:

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "To Kill a Mockingbird" - a deep exploration of small-town life and values.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Small Town" by John Mellencamp - a tribute to life in a small town.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be "American Gothic" by Grant Wood - a representation of rural America.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Clint Eastwood - known for his portrayals of the American heartland.
  5. If this film was a colour, it would be earthy brown - symbolizing the down-to-earth and authentic nature of rural life.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be Country - deeply rooted in rural American culture.