When we at CFN get the occasional chance to see a screener of a film, it’s generally a treat. It doesn’t happen a lot. But let’s face it, you aren’t always sure what you’re going to get. Sometimes I’m a little nervous, because, you know, what if the film isn’t good. Then you’re left having to review a film that someone may be talking about on a podcast that you write for. Awkward.
Thankfully, the film I’m writing about today, The Wind, is quite good, and seems to get better the more I think about it.
I’d call this a kind of supernatural thriller western, a genre one might call ‘specific’. The Wind is set in the Western frontier of the late 1800’s, and stars Caitlan Gerard (Insidious: The Last Key) as a plains-woman driven mad by the harshness and desolation of the untamed land.
The Wind is directed by Emma Tammi, written by Teresa Sutherland and stars Gerard, Ashley Zukerman, and Julia Goldani Telles. It was produced by Soapbox Films and Divide/Conquer.
The film opens with a somewhat jarring image of a woman covered in blood holding what appears to be an infant wrapped in cloth, and two men out front of the house. From there on out, the film switches from the present, to flashbacks to when Lizzie and Isaac Macklin first discover they have neighbors, Emma and Gideon Harper, in the cabin about a mile away across the plain.
The Macklins help the green and somewhat nervous Harpers get on their feet – helping with tilling their garden, fixing the outhouse, etc. We discover quickly that the infant in the opening shot, held by Lizzie Macklin, was Emma’s.
Through the shifting to present to flashbacks, they weave a story of the hardships of living as a pioneer in the West, of the difficulties of trying to start a family, and of the stress of being on your own for long periods of time in a desolate place, especially when you have doubts and fears.
The Wind take it’s time to establish it’s characters, it’s setting, and the hardships of the time. It may be a bit slow at first for some viewers. People that need a lot of stimulation might get bored. However, those that like to get drawn into a story that may challenge you to pay attention will get their money’s worth by sticking with it. This is careful film making with attention to subtleties.
The Wind seems pretty straight forward at first. However, the more I thought about certain things in the film, I found myself wondering what I should be taking at face value or what might be perception.
This is the kind of small film that relies on story – a good one – and solid actors. The Wind is the kind of film that makes me want to see what the writer and director will do next. I definitely recommend any one that enjoys a supernatural thriller to check this out. Four kittenhands!
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, always glad to see a solid independent film.