Director: John D. Harkrider
Screenwriters: John D. Harkrider

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


Mitchellville is an entrancing film that possesses such a tremendous sense of visual and conceptual concentration and accomplishment, it is hard to believe it's a first-feature effort. Director John D. Harkrider has created a luminous film in which two men seek redemption for their mistakes in a Möbius maze of dreams, reminiscence, and psychiatric ruminations.

Gabriel is a 34-year-old corporate lawyer who is peeling off the layers of an emotional shell that has hardened around him. Up for a partnership position at his law firm, Gabriel is required to undergo a routine psychiatric examination, during which he delves into his troubled past. At this crossroads, he elects finally to redeem a set of flute lessons bequeathed to him by his mother upon her deathbed on his eleventh birthday. His instructor, Ken, is a soulful flautist past his prime who carries a weight on his own heart. The two men become friends and eventually find out they are linked in an unlikely way that promises to deliver a measure of liberation from their painful journeys.

Mitchellville is a dreamlike voyage in both style and substance, inviting a rich and conscious engagement from its viewer. Ultimately, Harkrider has created a poetic exploration of whether the world that people build around themselves is any less real than the world they seek to escape.

(Archives note: see also John Harkrider's Meet The Artist interview on our YouTube Channel.)

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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