“Out here you survive or you surrender,” states Jeremy Renner’s character, Cory Lambert. He is a wildlife hunter in rural Wyoming’s Wind River Indian reserve. “Wind River” is a thrilling mystery that exposes the truths of the suffering of Native American families whose women are raped, missing or even murdered.
According to FeministActivism.com, one in three Native American women are raped in their lifetime and 52 percent of violent crimes on reservations are not prosecuted due to tribal protections.
A young FBI agent, Jane Banner (played by Elizabeth Olsen), teamed up with hunter Cory Lambert to investigate the chilling death of a young, 18-year-old Native American woman, Natalie Hanson, found over five miles deep into the mountains.
Throughout the movie, Renner’s character showed constant compassion and interest in helping the investigation because he had mysteriously lost his own daughter, who coincidentally was a best friend to Natalie.
“Wind River” was a very well-made movie that definitely deserves a 10 out of 10 rating. Throughout the film, the direction of the movie was strong, showing the talent of director, and screenplay writer, Taylor Sheridan.
All of the dialogue was very well crafted to keep the mood and had some extremely memorable quotes. Sheridan has also been nominated for 11 awards in the past two years.
In the opening scene, the idea of survival is shown by Renner’s character shooting a wolf that was ready to pounce on sheep, surrounded by the white winter show of Wyoming. This symbolizes Cory Lambert’s will to protect those who can’t protect themselves. The tone of the movie was kept with the use of traditional tribal music, mixed with an almost hollow and soft undertone.
While based on a true story from Wind River Reservation, the compelling story line kept the audience’s attention due to the need for justice for the Hanson family, as well as Cory Lambert.
In an interview for Newsweek, Sheridan explains that Native Americans face the same social issues as other parts of the country —domestic abuse, drug addiction, rape, poverty and alcoholism— but no one is listening because it is on the reservation with Tribal Police.
In the end, “Wind River” was all around a strong movie and should be considered for awards for categories like Best Screenplay and Best Actor/Actress. The theme is compelling and the main characters, portrayed by Olson and Renner, are so believable.