Native Novel Gets Big Screen Treatment

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown August 20th, 2014 Last Updated on: August 20th, 2014

Twin filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith chose to adapt the classic novel Winter in the Blood by James Welch to be their second feature film. As children, they grew up in Montana and had the rare privilege to know James Welch. He was a life-long friend, a mentor, and a profound influence on their writing.



If you're not familiar with the story, let's fill you in. Virgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer) wakes in a ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana, hungover and badly beaten. He returns home to his ranch on the reservation, only to find that his wife, Agnes, (Julia Jones) has left him. Worse, she's taken his beloved rifle. Virgil sets out to town find her— or perhaps just the gun— beginning a hi-line odyssey of inebriated and possibly imagined intrigues in town with the mysterious ‘Airplane Man', (David Morse) a beautiful barmaid, and two dangerous Men in Suits. Are they real? Or spirits guiding him away from his true path? Virgil's quest brings him face-to-face with childhood memories of his beloved, lost brother Mose.

Now being that the story was written by a Native American and had Native characters, the filmmakers had reservations about touching the film. Would they be the right people to pull it off since they were not Native themselves? NPR's Morning Edition spoke with the filmmakers about how they were encouraged by Sherman Alexie to make the film.



Winter in the Blood is still on the film festival circuit, with showings this week in New York City at the IFC Center. Hopefully we can get more showings in theaters near us!

For more information on upcoming screenings visit Winter in the Blood online or Facebook.

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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