Rat Life and Diet in North America
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 14 min
Overtly political and amusing, Rat Life and Diet in North America is an allegorical tale about resistance played out by a pair of gerbils who escape their feline captors and journey to Canada in search of freedom.
Remaining true to her structuralist roots, Wieland plays with narrative convention, disrupting the flow of the story with everything from title cards to messy splices. Thematically, the film marked the beginning of a particularly nationalistic time in Wieland’s life and art as she reached beyond pure formalism to make a political statement. Rat Life and Diet in North America is not just a parable of oppression and rebellion, but also an incisive comment about the dangers of U.S. imperialism — cultural or otherwise.