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The 11th Green

A respected journalist confronts the truth behind the folklore of President Eisenhower's long-alleged involvement in extraterrestrial events.

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  • Christopher Munch
    Leters from the Big Man, The Sleepy Time Gal, The Hours and Times
  • Christopher Munch
  • Valeria Lopez
  • Jim Stark
  • Campbell Scott
    Key Cast
    "Jeremy Rudd"
  • Agnes Bruckner
    Key Cast
    "Laurie Larkspur"
  • George Gerdes
    Key Cast
    "Dwight Eisenhower"
  • Ian Hart
    Key Cast
    "James Forrestal"
  • Tom Stokes
    Key Cast
  • Leith M. Burke
    Key Cast
    "The President"
  • Currie Graham
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    drama, speculative history, thriller
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 48 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 3, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival
    Palm Springs
    United States
    January 8, 2020
    North American Premiere
  • Maine International Film Festival
    United States
    July 14, 2020
    Drive-in festival screening during quarantine
Distribution Information
  • Antarctic Pictures LLC
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Christopher Munch

Critic Graham Fuller summed up the work of writer-director CHRISTOPHER MUNCH by stating that his films “meditate quietly on the perennial struggle people face in communicating with those they love, on mortality, on the role of memory in the mosaic of conscious­ness, and the evanescence that drives his restless protagonists to grasp futilely, and often nobly, at impossible dreams.” Critic and cinema historian Jonathan Rosenbaum called him “one of America’s most gifted independent filmmakers.”

Munch’s most recent picture, The 11th Green, was a New York Times Critic's Pick, as was his previous feature, the wilder­ness drama Letters from the Big Man (2011). Five of his features have played at Sundance, and his first, The Hours and Times (1992), a speculative biopic about Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, won a special jury prize there. An impossible dream was the overarching theme of Munch’s sec­ond feature, the period landscape drama Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day (1996), based on the true story of a young trolley mechanic who tries to save a doomed short-line railroad to Yosemite National Park. Munch then undertook the sprawling, unconventional mother-daughter story The Sleepy Time Gal (2002), which Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times wrote “has a depth, range and subtlety far greater than most American films” and which David Ansen of Newsweek upon its release stated was Jacqueline Bisset’s “finest performance.” Munch followed this with another unconventional family dissection, Harry and Max (2004), about two pop star brothers.

He is a past Guggenheim fellow, recipient of the Wolfgang Staudte Prize at Berlin, winner of two Independent Spirit Awards, including the “Someone To Watch” Award, and has been featured in two Whitney Biennial exhibitions. He has received competitive awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (for science in film), Creative Capital Foundation, The American Film Institute, The Merchant and Ivory Foundation, and others.

Writing in the magazine CinemaScope, critic Bérénice Reynaud described Munch’s cinema as “like an echo chamber, painstakingly recreating the most minute aspects of our exis­tences . . . moments of private longing that we cannot describe even to ourselves. . . . [H]is cinema explores the traces left by forgotten (or not-so-forgotten) lives, their often-secret impact on the lives of others and their intricate contradic­tions; he poetically recreates what made them unique rather than generic.”

* * *


2019 The 11th Green – writer, director, producer
2013 Return to Elektra Springs (short) – writer, director
2011 Letters from the Big Man – writer, director, producer
2004 Harry and Max – writer, director, producer
2001 The Sleepy Time Gal – writer, director, producer
1996 Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day – writer, director
1991 The Hours and Times – writer, director, producer, cinematographer


Add Director Biography
Director Statement

One of my earliest inspirations for The 11th Green was a dream of an unmade Robert Altman film, a dark comedy set in the Nevada desert involving a group of extremely unhappy workers in the classified aerospace world who could talk to no one, not even their families, about what they did for a living. Ultimately, I settled on a reporter as a framing device for my story, not just any journalist but a man trying to walk a tightrope strung between the poles of his interest in exotic technology, a powerful and estranged father who knew how to keep secrets, and a need to uphold his journalistic reputation by not going too far out on a limb.

Along this tricky walk – it might not be too far a stretch to call it a hero’s journey – Jeremy encounters not only an unbelievable invitation to open, by way of his deceased father’s legacy, one of the military industrial complex’s biggest secrets to the light of day, but, more troublingly, the question: “What if it’s all true?” His “threshold guardians” are none other than an intriguing woman who captures his heart while she wrestles with her own unique demons; a privileged intelligence operative who has been forced to lie so well that he can easily forget that he’s in favor of disclosure; and a boyhood friend who happens to be the outgoing American president.

I always conceived of that president (inspired by Barack Obama) – a brilliant and compassionate man poised between the aspirations and needs of the American people, and the harsh reality of the national security state – as providing an entry point that only a president could provide into a discussion of so-called “exopolitics” (the relationship of the nation-state to extraterrestrial life and its implications for society). His need for answers echoes the need we all have, but have often dismissed too easily, for answers to the big questions.

Like some of my past work, The 11th Green had its origins in an historical lacuna that I felt compelled to explore. I did not have a strong prior interest in, or knowledge of, either the Eisenhower presidency or UFOs. Through the years of research that the script entailed, however, I grew convinced that Ike was a figure ripe for reassessment, and that his long-alleged involvement in extraterrestrial events in the 1950s might have a factual basis (see my historical notes for more detail).

It was not my intention to craft a work of science fiction or fantasy (genres which do not engage me as much as straight-up drama). Rather, it seemed that the best way to deal with exopolitics was in a matter-of-fact and realistic fashion. This also allowed me to delve into the ramifications of over-classification, fear-based media sensationalism of UFOs, and the corrosive effects of secrecy on those insiders charged with upholding it – each of which is relevant to any discussion of visitors from another world.

Dwight David Eisenhower shepherded America through its deceptively calm post-war boom years that were, beneath the surface, extremely dangerous owing to geopolitical tensions, Senator McCarthy’s assault on civil liberties, and the incautious testing of thermonuclear devices that could have destroyed civilization. Ike’s highly destructive covert actions (in Guatemala, Iran, the Congo, etc.) had a profound and far-reaching effect on the world’s geopolitics. But . . . he was also the most trusted man in America, avuncular, unpretentious, dignified, selfless. He was a man of contradictions, a soldier who “shunned and renounced the trappings, even the weapons, of political command,” wrote Emmet Hughes in his poetic memoir The Ordeal of Power. “This man was, singularly, a man who stood alone. And one could not but wonder at times if he were not, too, a lonely man.”

What better foil to an Obama-esque leader seeking clarity, 60 years later, on a subject to which he has been denied access?

From the outset, archival film was to be an integral part of the discursive dreamtime scenes between Ike and the president. This conceit afforded me the opportunity to view, at the National Archives, thousands upon thousands of feet of film shot by military cameramen in the mid-20th century, into whose impeccable detail one could impute hidden meanings, infer outcomes not officially recognized – bringing one back, inexorably, to the idea of history being filled with lacunas.

The 11th Green would, then, be a film that I, as an audience member, longed to see. On the level of fictional drama, there was nothing that satisfied me about the current films and television that attempted to deal with exopolitics. At the same time, the documentaries that were being released on this subject were largely advocacy-based, and lacking in the sort of rigour that would inspire their audience to become more discerning. The director who inspired me perhaps more than any other with this material, though my film bears little resemblance to anything he did, was John Frankenheimer: his immaculate conspiracy thriller Seven Days In May and his “Forbidden Area” episode of Playhouse 90, the latter of which showed how a good and ambitious script can overcome very limited means of execution (which I knew I would face). Errol Morris’s The Fog of War and the unnervingly matter-of-fact German television movie The Wannsee Conference were also inspirations.

Our production could not have been more blessed in terms of the talented collaborators who recognized something in the material, something perhaps they had not seen elsewhere, that they could sink their teeth into. I am immensely grateful to each of them.

It is my hope that, within the broad canvas of Dwight Eisenhower’s towering service to America through some of its most perilous moments, The 11th Green in a small way shines light on one lacuna, admittedly speculative, that is nevertheless worthy of further exploration and interpretation in the light of current events and evolving trends.