Join us after the screening for a Q&A with writer/director Cord Jefferson.
Opening Night Film
Veteran actor Jeffrey Wright gives perhaps the performance of his career as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a middle-aged author and teacher who is stuck in a rut. He’s suffering from writer’s block, can’t seem to get his previous novel published, and, much to his discomfort, keeps finding his works shelved in bookstores under African American Literature. Forced to take a sabbatical after expressing his exasperation over a white student’s cultural sensitivities, Monk returns home to visit his sister and help take care of his aging mother. But his frustration grows when he stumbles into a reading of the best-selling book, We’s Lives in da Ghetto, a piece of fiction that not only stands in sharp discordance with his middle-class Boston suburban life, but also is a book that he feels panders to readers looking for Black poverty porn. Late one night, as an exercise, Monk channels his disdain into writing some pages for a mock-serious pseudonymous novel My Pafology, exhibiting every tired cliché he can come up with. To his chagrin, this manuscript becomes a publishing-industry sensation, giving Monk a taste of the sellout success he’s both dreaded and longed for. Adapted from Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut is a bitingly funny evisceration of America’s hypocritical obsession with authenticity, as well as a nuanced portrait of an artist grappling with his own integrity. Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and anchored by an incredible supporting cast including Tracee Ellis Ross, Sterling K. Brown, Issa Rae and Philadelphia’s own Erika Alexander, AMERICAN FICTION is a brilliantly layered portrait of perception vs. reality and the way we want the world to see us.
CAST: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Sterling K. Brown
OPENING NIGHT PARTY | $50 / $40 for PFS Members
Attico Rooftop | 219 S. Broad Street
After the Opening Night Film, join PFS to celebrate the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival atop the Philadelphia skyline. The Opening Night party will feature a DJ, dancing, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and more.
All sales are final. Admission is not guaranteed after scheduled start time.
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