American Independents


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  • In 1861, two young farmers, Francis and Henry Mellon, eke out a living in the rural Kentucky countryside. As the Civil War plays out in the distance, the brothers focus on their more immediate concerns, keeping the farm going through the winter and joking around to pass the time. When a disagreement over selling a field escalates, the brothers reach an impasse and Henry runs off into the night, joining the Union army. Now separated, each brother faces his own hardships. With this impressive first feature, Zachary Treitz smartly delivers a fresh tone to the American period piece, making a character–driven war film rooted in realism that admirably employs limited resources to craft a feeling of grandeur with intimate detail. Lyrical and luminescent, the film offers a rich world of modest splendors — and stands apart as strong independent work from a striking new voice in American film. — Landon Zakheim

  • Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Zachary Treitz has produced the Safdie brothers’ films THE PLEASURE OF BEING ROBBED and DADDY LONGLEGS. He wrote and directed the short WE'RE LEAVING (AFI FEST 2011). MEN GO TO BATTLE, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, is his first feature.

  • Maxwell Wolkin
    Film Movement
    [email protected]

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