The Wind

There are some things that can’t be changed. The emptiness of the prairie. The loneliness of a night alone. The judgement of a vengeful god. The death of a child. The way the wind blows the dust through every crack of the homestead.

It’s eight years that Lizzy and Isaac Macklin have been married, making the best of their lot on the wide prairie, watching the sun rise and set over the distant mountains and the weather blow in day after day, year after year, hoping that their crops will grow to feed themselves and the livestock. It’s not a life for the weak.

New arrivals in the neighbouring farmhouse across the hill brings an unexpected change to their world, newlyweds Emma and Gideon Harper, but Lizzy soon guesses that unlike her, Emma is not cut out to be a frontier woman, and when she and her baby die in tragic circumstances Gideon chooses to return home, Isaac accompanying him on the journey, leaving Lizzy alone with the wind.

But that wind carries something dark within it, something which stirs the animals and manifests as it curls around the wooden beams and rattles at the latch of the door and the windows, something which got inside Emma and is now coming for Lizzy as surely as the earth rained down in hard clumps on the hollow wood of Emma’s shared coffin.

With its UK premiere in the Night Moves strand of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, The Wind is filmed in the magnificent wilderness of New Mexico, open plains of unkempt grass with no sign of civilisation as far as the eye can see, no remote hope of rescue, no cavalry coming over the hill to save those lost in a godless land.

Directed by Emma Tammi from a script by Teresa Sutherland, it is Lizzy’s story, every scene told from her point of view, every dread and suspicion and sleepless night waiting for the comfort of a grey dawn conveyed by American Crime‘s Caitlin Gerard, a woman accustomed to a harsh life but unbowed, sleeping and bathing with a loaded gun by her side.

Fitting into the weird west subgenre alongside Wynonna Earp and The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, Gerard is supported by Childhood’s End‘s Ashley Zukerman as Isaac, Julia Goldani Telles as Emma and Dylan McTee as Gideon with Miles Anderson as the wandering Reverend.

With the underdeveloped plot never matching the power of the visuals it is the sense of setting and isolation which carry The Wind, the mutual dependence and rivalry of the two families as unexploited as the few moments of true horror, the strongest scene in the film thrown away almost as if its potential were unwanted, buried alongside the broken corpses of the prairie.

The Wind is screened on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th June

The Edinburgh International Film Festival continues until Sunday 30th June 2019



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