Facets Cinémathèque

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January 26–February 1, 2018

Chicago Premiere

American Folk
(a.k.a. September 12th)

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Film still: American Folk
"The film belatedly emerges as one of the stronger fictional statements on 9/11... [the protagonists'] journey winds up taking the pulse of America in a moment of shellshocked unity that now seems more remote than the terrorist plot itself"
"Quietly affecting... its visual flair and heartfelt homage to American folk music keep us engrossed"
  —Hollywood Reporter

Filmed over 3500 miles in 14 states, musicians Elliott (Joe Purdy) and Joni (Amber Rubarth) star as two strangers, both folk musicians, whose fates become intertwined after their plane is grounded in California following the September 11th attacks. Both desperately needing to get back to New York, they embark on a cross-country journey in a rusty old 1972 Chevy Van, borrowed from Joni's family friend (Krisha Fairchild, Krisha). Along the way, the duo finds solace in their mutual love of classic folk songs, and raising their voices with everyday people they meet on the road.

Leads Purdy and Rubarth each sing some of their own appealing original songs, along with a few folk classics, while the soundtrack offers vintage cuts by Pete Seeger, John Prine and Kitty Wells. They re-discover the healing nature of music and bear witness to a nation of people who lift each other up in the wake of tragedy.

Directed by David Heinz, U.S.A., 2017, 99 mins.


  • Fri., Jan. 26 at 7:30 pm
  • Sat., Jan. 27 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jan. 28 at 1, 3 & 5 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jan. 29–Feb. 1 at 7:30 pm
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$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