Directed by Chloe Zhao; 2017 (104 mins) in English
One of the most anticipated films of the year, Nomadland will have its premiere tomorrow in Venice and Toronto. In a few weeks it will also be shown at the New York Film Festival. Until this breathtakingly beautiful film is released in American theaters on December 4th, we highly suggest catching up with its director’s previous work, in particular with her second feature, The Rider. Born in Bejing, educated in London, Los Angeles and New York, thirty eight-year old Chloe Zhao is an artist of the Western landscape - geographical, social and emotional. As her first film - shot entirely in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation among young Native Americans - The Rider is populated exclusively by non-actors. Its story is drawn from the story of the Lakota Sioux Jandreau family whose members play versions of themselves. At the heart of the film is Brady (Brady Jandreau), a young cowboy whose promising rodeo career was cut short by a serious head injury. A taciturn, supremely gifted trainer with an instinctual, almost spiritual relationship with the horses, Brady also works at the local supermarket to make ends meet for himself, his father and his sister Lilly who has an intellectual disability. A painterly portrait of daily life, uncertain future and lingering broken dreams with the backdrop of the Dakota prairies, The Rider is a delicate, blue collar western - soulful, excitingly modern and yet mysteriously archaic.
The Rider can be viewed on Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms.