After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in ...
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After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life - a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted - not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. It is not, however, until she meets Tom - a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician - that she's forced to examine her motivations. Is the "Songcatcher," as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The film won the Special Jury Prize for outstanding ensemble performance at the Sundance Film Festival in the year 2000. See more »
Kudzu is shown growing in the forest. Kudzu was introduced into Appalachia in the 1930s from Japan to slow erosion. Kudzu would not have been present during the period this movie covers. (Keeping in mind, of course, that in order to produce a film about the Appalachians WITHOUT the kudzu would of course require filming in another region, as to date there have been very few if any successful attempts at denuding their fast-paced growth.) See more »
It looks like Maggie Greenwald made up a checklist before she made this film. Let's see if all of the obligatory cliches were covered: We had the Lesbian Scene, the Shedding Of Clothes, Clogging, the Romance Between The Virile Mountain Man And The Back East Pedant, the Rich Coal Mine Owner and his Shallow, Snooty Wife, the Stupid Farmer who sells his land at half price, and on and on. Oh, I almost forgot.....the token Black Banjo Player. The only thing missing from this film were a blind fiddle player and a three-legged hound. The story line had no continuity. The scenery was wretched.(You want Western NC scenery? See "Nell". You want Appalachian ambiance? See "Deliverance"). The characters acted like they didn't know what they were supposed to be doing half the time and the ending was horrible. Ms. McTeer is a good actress and the music was fairly good. Which probably saved this entire movie from the cutting room floor. Where it belongs.
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