The Songcatcher



Date: February 3, 2023

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Hoke Theatre

Price: $7/each

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2001 (PG-13) USA
Director: Maggie Greenwald
Cast: Janet McTeer, Emmy Rossum, Jane Adams, Aidan Quinn

After being passed over for a promotion by her university, musicologist Dr. Lily Penleric retreats in anger and disappointment to the Appalachian countryside to spend the summer with her sister, a teacher running a struggling rural school for the mountain people. While there, Lily discovers that the local folk songs are distinctive versions of English ballads, probably the purest forms in existence. She sets out to catalog them scientifically, recording them on a phonograph and transcribing them onto sheet music. Her project is met with skepticism, however, by a mountain man, Tom, who accuses her of exploiting his people. She argues that she is preserving and sharing his culture with the world. “The Songcatcher” explores this debate as well as the threat of mining and other issues in the small, conservative and isolated community. The setting, a lush, verdant forest and meadows, is beautiful, and the soundtrack is a musical treasure with complete versions of such haunting ballads as “Barbara Allen,” among others. Music lovers should not miss this film.

“Remarkable! A real rarity!” – Janet Maslin, ROGER EBERT & THE MOVIES

“It’s powerful and powerfully musical.” – Stephen Hunter, WASHINGTON POST

“Full of rustic charm and beautiful music.” – Janet Maslin, ROGER EBERT & THE MOVIES