Sam Now


Grand Illusion Cinema Sat, Apr 29, 2023 7:30 PM
Grand Illusion Cinema Sun, Apr 30, 2023 3:15 PM
Grand Illusion Cinema Sun, Apr 30, 2023 7:30 PM
Film Info
Release Year:2022
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Reed Harkness
Cast:Sam Harkness


Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Shooting on nearly every camera format imaginable, from hand-developed Super-8 film to Arri 4K, Sam Harkness and his older half-brother Reed use their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing. But solving the mystery of Sam’s mom’s disappearance is only the beginning of their story.


The brothers spontaneously hit the road in search of answers. Through their journey of discovery, we learn of Sam’s mother Jois’ complicated adoption history from Japan. We experience the ripple effects on the Harkness family, including Sam’s brother Jared, father Randy, and grandma Doris. And we are there with Sam coming of age from 11 to 36.


The documentary uses a hybrid narrative approach, drawing from a vast archive of fictional films, home videos, intimate family interviews and vérité scenes from over the decades. Sobering revelations blend with playful home movies and vibrant experimental filmmaking. 


SAM NOW is about growth. The film balances heavy themes and emotional reckonings with buoyant energy and lighthearted spirit. The optimistic teenage Sam we get to know, with his heart set on finding his mom, grows into a man whose new hope is to break the cycle of generational trauma.