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American Folk (2017)

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Two strangers, both folk musicians stranded in California, take a road trip to New York in the days after 9/11. A story about the kindness of strangers and the power of music.


David Heinz


David Heinz
8 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Purdy Joe Purdy ... Elliott
Amber Rubarth Amber Rubarth ... Joni
Krisha Fairchild ... Scottie
David Fine ... Dale
Bruce Beatty ... Mike
Elizabeth Dennehy ... Ann
Miranda LaDawn Hill Miranda LaDawn Hill ... Bianca
Emma Thatcher ... Emily
Holger Moncada Jr. ... Alejandro
Julian Gopal ... Carlos
Lawrence A. Mandley ... Dylan (as Lawrence Mandley)
Noah Craft ... CHP Officer
Bradford Barnes Bradford Barnes ... Jimmy
Paul White Paul White ... Fargo
Shelly West ... Kelly


Two strangers, both folk musicians stranded in California, take a road trip to New York in the days after 9/11. A story about the kindness of strangers and the power of music.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and language


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site





Release Date:

26 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

September 12th See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vanishing Angle See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bruce Beatty and Elizabeth Dennehy have both appeared on Star Trek The Next Generation. See more »


Joni: Bring back the folk!
See more »


The Moonlight Song
Written by Blaze Foley
Performed by Blaze Foley
Courtesy of Fat Possum
By arrangement with Zync Music Group LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

Potential skewed beyond use
15 May 2018 | by jamesalmosSee all my reviews

For me, the problem was story. The whole 9/11 angle seemed to muck things up far more than advance.

I'm not one of the 'it was x years ago, so stop talking about it' crowd. Lost a family member that day, as it were.

But in the ensuing years, I now live near the widower of that family member (reminder: lots of firefighters are women), and we both agreed this was enough of a stretch to make those people sound pretty rational.

Recorded his words for accuracy: "If you take 9/11 away, it's probably about the same story. Good story. Just didn't like that they used the towers like that. People only got real riled in the dinner part and that's not how it was back then. You {this writer} were only in college, but I know you remember how people popped off all the time right after."

In short, 9/11 seems more a convenient linchpin than a properly explored central theme.

That said, the direction resulted in some excellent on-screen chemistry from the leads - which I barely believe wasn't there already. Also a surprising number of beautifully shot scenes with actors present - infinitely harder than without them. And despite my thematic disagreements, some tight writing.

Film gets a 5 from me, but might have been a 7 if personal circumstance didn't prevent an objective view of the subject matter.

Scoring as the latter because: won't hurt your rating on account of personal history, and hopefully a higher rating gets this film more viewings, especially from those of us connected to the event, that it might challenge us to think differently.

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