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Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Directed by Chloé Zhao • 2015 • United States
Starring John Reddy, Jashaun St. John, Taysha Fuller
The stunning feature debut from Chloé Zhao (THE RIDER) is a sensitive, lyrical depiction of life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation featuring a remarkable cast of nonprofessional indigenous actors from the community. With an eye for moments of everyday wonder, Zhao charts the bond between a preteen girl (Jashaun St. John) and her older brother (John Reddy) who, despite the poverty, alcoholism, and resulting apathy that have ravaged their community, find meaning in their tribe’s rituals and vanishing traditions. The director’s documentary-like approach yields a raw, authentic neorealist portrait graced with gorgeous panoramic cinematography of the Great Plains.