Documentary Feature Competition presented by ACE91

Join or Die

"Join or Die" is a film about why you should join a club—and why the fate of America may depend on it. Follow the story of America's civic unraveling through the journey of legendary social scientist Robert Putnam, whose viral "Bowling Alone" research into the decline in American community lights a path out of our democracy's present crisis. Flanked by influential fans and scholars—from Hillary Clinton and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to Eddie Glaude Jr. and Pete Buttigieg—as well as inspiring groups building community across America, join Bob as he explores three urgent civic questions: What makes democracy work? Why is our democracy in crisis? And, most importantly: What can we do about it?

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Rebecca Davis
photo of Pete Davis



Rebecca Davis, Pete Davis


Rebecca Davis, Pete Davis


Rebecca Davis, Pete Davis


Ronan Killeen


Chad Ervin

Sound Designer:

Coll Anderson


Chad Cannon

Principal Cast:

Robert Putnam, Hillary Clinton, Pete Buttigieg, Vivek Murthy, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Raj Chetty, Priya Parker, Jane McAlevey, Glenn Loury, Hahrie Han

Additional Credits:

Animation Director: Mark Lopez, Archival Producer: Rebecca Kent, Archival Research Assistant: Gabrielle Koehler, Field Producers: JoeBill Muñoz, Jennifer Pearce, Sara Joe Wolansky, Associate Producer: Engy Adham, Additional Editors: Inaya Graciana Yusuf, Eric Gulliver, Assistant Editors: Christian Oliveira, Cheryl Beadling, Additional Cinematography: Allie Humenuk, Alvin McBean, Alyssa Brocato, Edward Martinez, Erik Ljung, Keith Walker, Kyle l. Kelley, Nathan Golon, Stefan Wiesen, Umit Gulsen, E.J. Enríquez, Jenna Rosher, Line Producer: Katie Schwartz, Project Advisor: Lauren Prestileo


Public Film Contact:

Rebecca Davis
Delevan Street Films

Publicity Contact:

Adam Segal
(202) 422-4673

Primary Access
Platinum Badge
Film & TV Badge
Secondary Access
Music Badge
Interactive Badge
Film & TV Festival Wristband
Premiere Status:
Screening Category:
99 mins