Director: Michael Polish
Screenwriters: Mark Polish, Michael Polish

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


It's 1955 and industries are booming as America undergoes a postwar metamorphosis. However, in the small town of Northfork, death is in the air. The townspeople are being evacuated because of the construction of a dam that will wash away their homes. A soulless group of trench coat-wearing government employees, hired to get rid of the proud few who remain, go about their business destroying lives with the efficiency and emotion of door-to-door salesmen. Meanwhile, a young orphan boy lies sick in bed, being cared for by a devoted priest. The boy's fever induces hallucinogenic dreams of fantastic beings that might be angels. Are they simply in his head, or are they conduits into another realm?

The third film from twin brothers Mark and Michael Polish is a magical fusion of surreality and history. Cleverly referencing such disparate elements as the Bible, painters, and pop culture, they create a fantastic and timeless world that would make Terry Gilliam proud. With the magnificent Big Sky country as their canvas, the Polish brothers imaginatively stroke their cinematic brush across a stark and gorgeous film that is a complex and moving exploration of the death of the American dream and the rebirth of American dreamers.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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