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USA: Trimark Pictures
Cast: Janet McTeer, Mike Harding, Aidan Quinn, Pat Carroll, Jane Adams, Greg Cook, Iris DeMent, Stephanie Roth, David Patrick Kelly, E Katherine Kerr, Taj Mahal, Emmy Rossum, Muse Watson, Erin Blake Clanton, Andrea Powell
Director: Maggie Greenwald
USA: 113 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and an intense scene of childbirth
USA Release Date: 29 June 2001 (Limited Release)
USA Release Date: 15 June 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
Doctor Lily Penleric (Janet McTeer), is a brilliant musicologist, but when she doesn't get a promotion at the university where she teaches, she impulsively visits her sister Elna (Jane Adams), who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life - a treasure trove of ancient Scottish-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains.
With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted -- not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they strive against the harshest conditions to achieve meaningful lives.
It is not, however, until she meets Tom Bledsoe (Aidan Quinn), a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician, that she's forced to examine her motivations. Is the "Songcatcher," as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their land?