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Sat, Mar 9 at 3:15pm


  • Dir. Cord Jefferson
  • USA
  • 2023
  • 117 min.
  • R
  • 4K DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Closed Captioning
  • Descriptive Audio
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Best Picture Marathon

Nominated for 5 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Jeffrey Wright), Actor in a Supporting Role (Sterling K. Brown), Music (Original Score), and Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Starring Jeffrey Wright in one of his most beautifully nuanced performances, AMERICAN FICTION is both a wickedly smart satire about the commodification of marginalized voices and a bittersweet portrait of an artist forced to re-examine the terms of his integrity. Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Wright) is a respected author and professor of English literature. But his impatience with his students’ cultural sensitivities is threatening his academic standing, while his latest novel is failing to attract publishers — they claim Monk’s writing “isn’t Black enough.” He travels to his hometown of Boston to participate in a literary festival where all eyes are on the first-time author of a bestseller titled We’s Lives In Da Ghetto, a book Monk dismisses as pandering to readers seeking stereotypical stories of Black misery. Meanwhile, Monk’s family experiences tragedy, and his ailing mother requires a level of care neither he nor his trainwreck of a brother (Sterling K. Brown) can afford.

One night, in a fit of spite, Monk concocts a pseudonymous novel embodying every Black cliché he can imagine. His agent submits it to a major publisher who immediately offers the biggest advance Monk’s ever seen. As the novel is rushed to the printers and Hollywood comes courting, Monk must reckon with a monster of his own making.

Adapted from Percival Everett’s 2001 novel Erasure, Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut is a wildly entertaining send-up of our hunger for so-called authenticity. Featuring stellar supporting turns from Issa Rae and Erika Alexander, and a string of cheeky cameos, AMERICAN FICTION is a timely reflection on the fictions we tell ourselves about race, progress and community.

“An outlandishly assured directorial debut, a beautifully modulated film that takes a great actor, Jeffrey Wright, and gives him a spectacular showcase.” —Jourdain Searles, IndieWire

“Smart, meaty, and funnier than expected for a film juggling weighty relationship drama with the philosophical conundrums running through Monk’s head, AMERICAN FICTION is a dramedy with a refreshing point of view.”—Shirley Li, The Atlantic

“This is satire at its best, a film full of tremendous laughs and salient observations on racial stereotyping.” —Kaleem Aftab, BBC

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