A gripping and glorious story of friendship set in the Old West. A lonely, taciturn cook traveling West joins a group of Oregon fur trappers. The only person with whom he feels a real affinity is a Chinese immigrant, also seeking his fortune. Soon the two discover how to realize their “American dream”: rob a rich landowner of the milk of his precious cow, the first and only one in the territory.
Kelly Reichardt is one of the most important and interesting voices of independent American cinema. Here she completely redefines the notion of westerns and paints magnificent story of friendship and an authentic portrait of frontier life at the beginning of the 19th century, depicting the immense and disturbing tranquillity of rural America and questioning the true foundations on which the country was built. In competition at the Berlinale in 2020, opening film at Locarno, it won Best Film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards and was ranked number one in the Cahiers du cinéma list of films released in 2021. This year Reichardt received the Pardo d’onore alla carriera at the Locarno Film Festival.
Born in Miami, Florida, Kelly Reichardt is a screenwriter and independent filmmaker. After her first feature film, the noir “River of Grass” (1994), presented at Sundance and the Berlinale, she devoted a few years to the short form, returning to feature films in 2006 with “Old Joy”, based on a short story by American writer Jonathan Raymond. Also presented at Sundance, it was the first US film to win the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The subsequent “Wendy and Lucy” (2008) was presented in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, starting a collaboration with actress Michelle Williams that continued with three more titles. The western “Meek’s Cutoff” was in competition at the Venice International Film Festival in 2010, as was “Night Moves” in 2013. “Certain Women” (2016), an adaptation of three short stories by Maile Meloy, won Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival in 2016. His most recent films are “First Cow”, brought to competition at the Berlinale in 2020, and “Showing Up” (2022). Retrospectives of her work have been organised by institutions such as MoMA, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Museum of the Moving Image, Walker Art Center, American Cinematheque Los Angeles, European Touring Retrospective and Centre Pompidou.