Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015)
Director: Chloe Zhao Run Time: 98 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2016
Starring: Irene Bedard, Jashaun St. John, John Reddy
Country: United States
Screening as part of a Chloé Zhao retrospective.
“As an ethnographic work, it is extraordinary, facing stereotypes about life on the reservation head-on”
– Jordan Hoffman for The Guardian
About the film:
Chloé Zhao’s debut feature film.
After premiering in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the film screened in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, where Zhao received a nomination for the Caméra d’Or for best first feature. She was awarded Best Director at the 40th American Indian Film Festival and received an Independent Spirit Awards nomination for Best First Feature.
With an older brother in jail and living with their single mother on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Johnny and his sister Jashaun’s lives develop new challenges when their absentee cowboy father suddenly dies. The loss prompts Johnny to strike out for Los Angeles, but would mean leaving behind his beloved sister.
Zhao was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2013. Before filming Songs My Brothers Taught Me, she spent four years living on the reservation developing relationships with members of the community and learning their stories. Read more about how she developed her distinct filmmaking process with her first feature.See our upcoming films See more from chloé zhao