Facets Cinémathèque

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July 8–14, 2005

Chicago Premiere


Film still: *** Film still: ***


"Exceptional lead of [Mackinnon's] most achieved productions
to date."
3 stars "A beautifully acted coming-of-age film."
  —Chicago Tribune
3 stars
  —Roger Ebert
"A small but achingly authentic piece of kitchen-sink realism"
  —Chicago Reader
"A remarkable lead performance by a child actor...what makes Pure resonate emotionally is Eden's clear-eyed, unsentimental performance, which conveys an adult-beyond-his-years savvy"
  —Onion AV Club

Set in London's East End, Pure is a story about Mel (Molly Parker, Kissed, The Center of the World) an East London heroin addict, and her close bond with her 10-year-old son Paul (Harry Eden). Told from the boy's point of view and featuring a critically acclaimed performance by newcomer Eden, Pure follows Paul as he confronts fears of abandonment and is forced to mature suddenly after learning the truth about his mom's drug problem. With heroic optimism, Paul takes drastic steps to rescue Mel from her addiction, but only when she hits rock bottom is Mel able to summon the power to save herself and her family. One of the biggest surprises is the gritty performance from Kiera Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham, King Arthur), co-starring as the pregnant waitress who befriends Paul to become his surrogate sister, and offers a complex sketch of a young woman, desperately lonely and dependant on drugs. Filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Regeneration, Hideous Kinky) establishes a real sense of place, examining the preservation of family values in a multicultural environment that is ripped apart by the devastating twin effects of poverty and drug addiction.

Directed by Gillies MacKinnon, United Kingdom, 2002, 35mm, 96 mins.


  • Fri., July 8 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat.-Sun., July 9–10 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Mon.-Thurs., July 11–14 at 7 & 9 pm
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$9 general admission

FREE 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