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Citizen Ruth

Friday, Jan 5, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Dir. Alexander Payne. 1996, 106 mins. 35mm courtesy of Paramount Archive. With Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place, Kurtwood Smith, Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, Tippi Hedren. When it debuted at Sundance in early 1996, Payne’s debut instantly announced a striking new dark-comic voice to American cinema. Dern plays, with a lack of condescension, a poor, drug-addicted mother of four unable to care for her children who finds herself pregnant yet again—and under arrest for huffing paint in public. After being processed through a criminal justice system that doesn’t know what to do with her, she finds herself co-opted by forces on the right and left who want to make her pregnancy a political flashpoint. As the film continues, it becomes clear that neither side is particularly interested in her as a human being. As provocative as ever, Payne’s film pokes at our nation’s lingering sore spots and moral certitudes. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.