March 5th at 7PM, Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, Queens
The Philip K Dick Film Festival
“American Quartet, through innovative storytelling and without speaking a word, poignantly communicates the future of hate, humanity, and courage.”
– Irshad Manji, author, “Don’t Label Me”
“Dvořák’s music is a perfect underscore for this American story of love, hate and identity…”
– Elliott Forrest, WQXR
On March 5th, the Philip K Dick Film Festival will premiere American Quartet, the newest short film from Filmelodic. Filmelodic is an award-winning collective that makes short, narrative films to open up the world of classical music to newer, younger, and more diverse audiences.
Will it take a technological breakthrough for Americans to learn empathy? Internationally acclaimed director and Head of Directing at San Diego State University Jesca Prudencio makes her film debut with the new sci-fi short set in the near future, in which the newest digital device is a telepathic diary. The diary, owned by everyone, records only each individual’s emotions and memories for the purpose of re-experiencing them.
In a 2030s small town bitterly divided over who belongs, a young Muslim-American woman in love with her local city councilwoman puts herself at risk when she shares her private, digitized memories with strangers, challenging the status quo in the hope that empathy will triumph over hate. Antonín Dvorák’s beautiful “American Quartet” drives the film and allows the characters to tell their stories entirely without dialogue.
Using the universal language of music, and shot by award-winning cinematographer Nona Catusanu, this film echoes the increasingly divided ideological divisions in the United States, and suggests that technology, instead of dividing us, can be used to create empathy toward those with ideologies unlike our own.