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Winter in the Blood

Winter in the Blood
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  • This film played during the 2014 Florida Film Festival
  • Directed by: Alex Smith and Andrew Smith
  • USA, 2013, 98 minutes
  • In English and Blackfeet with English subtitles
  • Southeast Premiere

Hungover and beaten, Virgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer, The Twilight Saga’s Sam Uley) wakes on a roadside in the stark but beautiful plains of Montana. As he rises, he sees an impossible vision: his father, ten years dead, lying at his feet—inciting action that triggers a personal odyssey. Through confrontations and encounters, skirmishes and improbable intrigues, Virgil’s quest brings him face-to-face with memories and visions—some glorious, some tragic. Only when Virgil seeks the counsel of Yellow Calf, an old blind man, does he grasp the truth of his origins and begin to thaw the ice in his veins. In this spellbinding journey of self-love and forgiveness, twin brothers Alex Smith and Andrew Smith (The Slaughter Rule, 2002) remind us of the power of embracing—and no longer fleeing—one’s painful memories. Their screenplay adapts the late Native American writer James Welch’s Winter in the Blood (Harper, 1975). The novel, often considered the author’s most enduring, takes place on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and along the Hi-Line of Montana—a location based on where the Great Plains Indian Welch lived as a child.

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