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Directed by Victor Sjöström • 1928 • United States
Starring Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
In her stunning last silent performance, Lillian Gish crafts a harrowing portrayal of a sheltered young woman who travels to her cousin’s ranch in Texas, where she finds herself at the mercy of brutish men and an unforgiving desert landscape that gradually drives her to the brink of madness. Externalizing its heroine’s psychological disintegration via the motif of the constantly whipping wind—culminating in a terrifying, unforgettable dust-storm climax—this expressionistic tour de force is a shattering exploration of physical and spiritual repression that stands as one of the final masterpieces of the silent era.