From Our Collection: George Washington

USA 2000. Dir: David Gordon Green. 89 min. 35mm

35mm PRINT | David Gordon Green’s extraordinary debut, an intimate, impressionistic, achingly beautiful tale of love, friendship, and childhood, is a poetic film in the Terrence Malick mode. (Malick, himself a fan, would produce one of Green’s subsequent features.) Set in a derelict North Carolina hamlet, and acted by a non-pro cast, George Washington follows a group of impoverished preteens, black and white, headed by 12-year-old Nasia, the film’s wise-beyond-her-years narrator. Her new boyfriend is awkward, eccentric George; one of “God’s mysteries and mistakes”; he’s literally soft in the head. The non-linear plot takes a hard narrative turn midway through; Green’s lyrical film won wide praise for its strong sense of place, ravishing CinemaScope landscapes, and odd, unsettling mix of documentary realism and allegory. “A unique film ... A breathtaking debut from a director capable of greatness” (Rick Groen, Globe and Mail).

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From Our Collection features 16mm and 35mm prints from The Cinematheque archive.

REVIEWS

"A little like Gummo re-imagined by Terrence Malick, Green's extraordinary debut feature is a film without a centre."

Time Out | full review