Director: Kelly Reichardt
Screenwriters: Jon Raymond
From her first feature, River of Grass, which premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, to her subsequent works, Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, and Meekâ€™s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt has emerged as a unique voice in cinema; itâ€™s our pleasure to welcome her back.
Set in 1845 along the unforgiving Oregon Trail, Meekâ€™s Cutoff follows three pioneer families who have entrusted a scout, Stephen Meek, with guiding their wagons across a supposed shortcut. Faced with dwindling water supplies, mounting uncertainty about Meekâ€™s dependability, and growing disagreement over a captured Native American, the group begins to fray.
Reichardtâ€™s breathtaking vision recasts the mythology of the western. Focusing on simple rhythms and daily tasks, she conveys the familiesâ€™ routines (boiling water, reloading a musket, or replacing a wagon axle) with incredible detail and authenticity. The filmâ€™s unadorned aesthetic yields a morally complex drama and meditation on human nature. Set during the emergence of Manifest Destiny, it also presents an oblique, cutting comment on America and its policies today.
- U.S. Narrative Feature Films
- 2011, Sundance Film Festival
- U.S.A., 104 min.