The term “Patty Hearst Syndrome” comes from the famous case of Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of wealthy publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Patty was kidnapped by terrorists, held hostage for months, and reemerged fighting alongside her captors. The phenomenon has become a popular topic in Hollywood, and now we’re seeing it explored from a fresh angle in American Woman, which features a stellar cast led by Watchmen and Downsizing‘s Hong Chau.
Rather than focusing on Hearst, American Woman is a fictional reimagining that centers on Jenny (Chau), a former radical who takes in three fugitives, one of them the celebrity granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate who has joined her captors’ cause.
Chau is joined in the cast by Sarah Gadon, Lola Kirke, John Gallagher Jr., and Ellen Burstyn. I told you the cast was stellar. The film was written and directed by Semi Chellas, who wrote the movie Ophelia along with episodes of Mad Men and The Romanoffs. She has adapted the bestselling book by Susan Choi.
American Woman opens in Canada next month, and may arrive here on VOD around the same time.