The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon

October 26, 2019

This event occurred as part of the 19/20 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

The effortless chemistry between Down syndrome actor Zack Gottsagan and Shia LaBeouf makes this Mark Twain-style buddy adventure a feel-good indie with real substance.


After escaping from the nursing home where he is kept as a ward of the state, Zak (Gottsagan) teams up with a charismatic fugitive (LaBeouf) whose fiery run-in with a rival fisherman (John Hawkes) has him skipping town. This unlikely pair travel through the backwaters of the Carolinas to realize the young man's dream of joining the wrestling school run by his idol, the Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church), while assuming his own pro-wrestling alias … The Peanut Butter Falcon!

But hot on their trail is Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), an employee from the nursing home, who must come to terms with the fact that keeping Zak safe is not enough. As the first Down syndrome actor to play the leading man, Gottsagan proves throughout this sweet comic odyssey that anyone with courage deserves a chance to reach their full potential.  D: Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz, US, 2019

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Programmer's Note

One of our main programming values, often reflected in our #ReelChange series, is the importance of sharing overlooked stories to deepen our empathy and broaden our perspective. This remarkable film came into being because Zack asked his friends Tyler and Michael to make a film for him to star in. The three of them developed the story together, creating an authentic and inspiring tale that centers around a funny, fierce and determined character who happens to have Down syndrome. Hopefully this will be the first of many films for Zack Gottsagan.

If Beale Street Could Talk

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Black Family Visual Arts Center
22 Lebanon Street
Hanover, NH

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