THE SONGS THAT MY BROTHER TAUGHT ME (2015)
A film by Chloé Zhao
Cast: Irene Bedard, Dakota Brown, Cat Clifford
With an older brother in jail, living with her mother in Pine Ridge indian reservation Johnny and his sister and his sister Jashuan’s lives will turn upside down when they learn that their absentee father the cowboy bull rider dies. The loss creates a sudden change of plan for Johnny to go to L.A California with his girlfriend but that would be leaving his sister behind.
Here is a raw look at an indian reservation in South Dakota where despair, drugs, alcohol takes aver the lives of those indian on the reservation. Some of them are trying to make end meet and apparently are getting by. It is a beautiful film with some stunning photography of the wildness which is about family bonding in an indian reservation. The thing is that Johnny wants to live behind an alcoholic mother and his sister but guild is going to set in. while 13-year-old Jashaun is on the brink of adolsescence. the idea of her brother leaving in her care of her mother with this bunch of men that she is sees does not seat well with her. You see the funny thing is that Johnny provides the alcohol on his reservation you see alcohol is prohibited on the reservation it is the only way foe him to make some cash so he can get out and go to L.A.
Zhao here is showing us the beautiful cinematography of the land as well as the raw life on the reservation including the traditional indian life. You loose yourself in this indian life who is full of despair a beautiful landscape , although the film as a documentary feel to it. There is some nice scenes with Joshua and her clothes and tattoo designer distant relative Travis (Travis Lone Hill, whose Rez Life 7 designs feature heavily in the film). Although he turns to alcohol when ever he can. Yes there are people who run to god on the reservation as well because they are fed up with the drugs and the alcohol and want a better life for themselves. Here is a terrific film debut by Chloé Zhao that go the attention of Sundance.