Facets Cinémathèque

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September 16–22, 2016

Chicago Premiere

Silicon Cowboys

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Film still: Silicon Cowboys Film still: Silicon Cowboys


"A lively look at an underexposed tech-biz success story"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"Fascinating... By turns amusing and illuminating, and quite often both simultaneously"
"Although we know the outcome, Silicon Cowboys feels like a suspense thriller"
  —San Francisco Chronicle
  —NewCity Chicago
"Cohen solicits commentary from a range of tech entrepreneurs and aficionados... their excitement is contagious, fueling a dramatic rise-and-fall business tale"
  —Chicago Reader

Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world's most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader's code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. Silicon Cowboys explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath story—and eventual demise—of Compaq, an unlikely upstart who altered the future of computing and helped shape the world as we know it today.

Directed by Oscar®-nominated director Jason Cohen, the film offers a fresh look at the explosive rise of the 1980's PC industry and is a refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg. (SXSW)

Directed by Jason Cohen, 2016, U. S. A., 78 mins.


  • Fri., Sept. 16 at 7:45 pm
  • Sat.–Sun., Sept. 17–18 at 6 & 7:30 pm
  • Tues.–Thurs., Sept. 20–22 at 7:45 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