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SONGCATCHER

USA, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Maggie Greenwald

"A film about a woman whose drive to pursue the things she believes in leads her on an unexpected path to self-discovery. It is 1907, and musicologist Doctor Lily Penieric (Janet McTeer) has just been denied a promotion in the male-dominated world of her university. Frustrated and determined to get academic recognition, she heads to Appalachia with a sound recording device and writing materials. The people are wary of her, fiercely insular and protective of their mountain ways. Arriving at a volatile time when the coal companies are vying for land and swallowing up whole communities, Lily cannot help but become involved in the struggles of these people while falling in love with lorn (Aidan Quinn), a rough local musician. Songcatcher's two most striking assets are the haunting music and the stellar performance of Janet McTeer. The simple songs stand on their own raw and moving, complementing the glorious landscape. Songcatcher is a powerful portrait of the age-old struggle between preservation and progress set in the visceral world of unsung mountain people. Also starring country music star Iris Dement." - Sundance Film Festival


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