TOPEKA — Fifth-generation Kansan Donn Teske’s commitment to family farm survival and humility inspired by German Lutheran lineage argued against taking part in a documentary capturing adversity of three seemingly divergent middle-class Americans compelled to adapt in a turbulent economy.
Major health complications, staggering business debt and anxiety driven by a duty not to be the generation that failed — common issues faced by aging agriculture producers of the United States — weighed on him.
He subsequently agreed to tell his story in “The Disrupted,” a film by directors Sarah Colt and Josh Gleason about challenge, resilience and the quest for dignity of work by former Ohio factory worker and ex-convict Pete Velez, frustrated Uber driver Cheryl Long in Florida and Teske.
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