Year:  2017

Director:  David Heinz

Rated:  MA15+

Release:  May 8 – 20, 2018   

Distributor: American Essentials

Running time: 99 minutes

Worth: $18.00
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Joe Purdy, Amber Rubarth

The haunting effects of 9/11 have never been so lyrically approached on film...

Joe Purdy has recorded 14 albums, and has had international success as a singer/songwriter. Amber Rubarth is also a successful singer/songwriter and here, both turn their hands to acting. Purdy plays Elliot, a singer songwriter who on September 11th, 2001 shares an adjacent seat on a flight bound for New York, with Joni (Rubarth) only for it to be grounded. In the chaos and uncertainty of Los Angeles airport following the New York attack, Joni offers him a place to crash for the night. This leads to the offer of her mother’s ’72 Chevy van to drive back to New York.

As the pair traverse the lower states, Elliot and Joni meet a variety of people affected by the shock of the 9/11 attack and enjoy gentle, meandering discussions with them on the nature of life. Often, Elliot and Amber sing folk tunes together, other times they are joined by the people they’ve met, either way the softly hypnotic hold of this utter gem of a film never wavers.

Ostensibly it’s a diegetic musical in the same vein as Once; it’s as good as that film and as pointedly beautiful. The haunting effects of 9/11 have never been so lyrically approached on film and the restraint and subtlety with which Heinz gently guides these characters through the story, creates a warm, emotive experience which spiritedly strides along, cruising through scenes of quiet beauty that wonderfully emphasise the film’s central concerns: the power of music and the kindness of strangers, towards a bittersweet and tender conclusion. You will be sorry to have it end. Beautiful.


  • Arthur G.
    17 February 2019 at 9:08 am

    If you were raised enjoying the sound of a Gibson guitar, harmonies, and songs you knew the words to, this will resonate on so many levels. If not, this movie is a sweet introduction of ballads and timeless tunes. The supporting characters are vibrant and equally well acted.

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