Facets Cinémathèque

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August 26–September 1, 2016

Chicago Premiere

Men Go to Battle

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Film still: Men Go to Battle Film still: Men Go to Battle Film still: Men Go to Battle
Jury Award:
Best Narrative Feature
Tribeca Film Fest
Critics' Pick
  —New York Times
"An instant-classic Western"
  —New Yorker
"A sparse, tightly focused period piece"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"A grimy micro-brew of Civil War drama... as an offbeat lens through which to view an oft-mined era, it has a quiet pull"
  —Los Angeles Times
"Little in this seductive jewel would ever come out of the studios"
  —Filmmaker Magazine
"Men Go To Battle's ramshackle vibe has its subversive qualities... The movie is as much about demystifying and de-prestige-ing the mythology of the Civil War as it is about the fact that young men have always felt aimless and frustrated, even in times of historic turmoil"
  —AV Club
"A haunting, mournful mood piece... Striking in its evocation of a demanding time and place, this intimate drama about individual and national transformation heralds the arrival of an arresting new filmmaking voice"
  —Chicago Tribune

In 1861, two young farmers, Francis and Henry Mellon, eke out a living in the rural Kentucky countryside. As the Civil War plays out in the distance, the brothers focus on their more immediate concerns, keeping the farm going through the winter and joking around to pass the time. When a disagreement over selling a field escalates, the brothers reach an impasse and Henry runs off into the night, joining the Union army. Now separated, each brother faces his own hardships and with this impressive first feature, co-writer/director Zachary Treitz smartly delivers a fresh tone to the American period piece, making a character-driven war film rooted in realism that admirably employs limited resources to craft a feeling of grandeur with intimate detail.

A historical epic of intimate proportions, Men Go To Battle was shot on location in Kentucky with real-life reenactors. Drawing from his own family's archives, Treitz creates a naturalistic and absorbing debut drama, in a tale of two brothers whose strained relationship splinters amidst the encroaching chaos of the Civil War.

Directed by Zachary Treitz, 2015, U.S.A., 98 mins.


  • Fri., Aug. 26 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Aug. 27 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Aug. 28 at 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Aug. 29–Sept. 1 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation