“I’m not running from anything,” says Edee (Wright) of her new home in the Wyoming wilderness. “I’m not a criminal. I’m here because I choose to be.” Leaving her old life behind after an unspeakable tragedy, she is determined to shut herself off from the world. Woefully unprepared for a Jeremiah Johnson’s style life, she is saved from a near-death experience by Miguel (Demián Bichir), a gentle local hunter and nursed back to health by Alawa Crow (Sarah Dawn Pledge). With Miguel’s guidance Edee learns to navigate the harsh new world she has chosen for herself, and possibly learn to embrace humanity once again. “If you won’t think of the past,” Miguel says, “have you thought about what you want your life to be moving forward?”
Filmed on location in Alberta, “Land” is a breathtaking movie that does not trip over itself to offer easy answers to the big, existential questions it poses. Deliberately paced with little dialogue, it uses the beautiful but brutal landscape and subdued performances to paint its picture of resilience and friendship. It’s a story of the circle of life, how those circles intersect and the impact an act of kindness can have in that overlap.
Wright doesn’t overplay one frame of “Land.” Instead, she allows the heartfelt connection at the center of the story to subtly tell the story of how a friendship can change a life.