Sheridan explores forgotten America in films
Taylor Sheridan has a knack for finding and telling stories about parts of the American frontier that Hollywood doesn’t dare touch. The Texas native brought audiences to the U.S.-Mexico border in Sicario and to shattered West Texas in Hell or High Water through his visceral screenplays. Now in Wind River, Sheridan explores cruelty at the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.
The murder of a young girl sets the story in motion and brings a novice FBI agent Jane (Elizabeth Olsen) to the snowy terrain. She enlists the help of a local game tracker Cory (Jeremy Renner), who is all too familiar with the circumstances.
Sheridan spoke to The Associated Press about the film, which is playing in select cities now, and how Wind River continues his exploration of prescient themes through a thrilling genre lens. You’ve referred to Wind River as a part of a trilogy with
and Can you elaborate? The macro is it is an exploration of the modern American frontier and how much has changed and how much hasn’t changed and the consequences of assimilation that still reverberate today.
Why did you want to direct this one?
It was the only way I could guarantee that the story was told the way I wanted it told. I didn’t trust that another filmmaker would come in and see this world the way I saw it, or I didn’t know one.
Why is it important to you to explore these lost frontiers?
As Americans, we are wildly ignorant of our own nation. There are people in Los Angeles who have never been to the West. Same with New York. And most people haven’t been to Los Angeles and New York. And we watch the news and each of these regions is presented in one way and that way is terrifying to the people who are from the other regions. I think that understanding our country fully means understanding all the people in it and realizing we’re just not that different.
Finally, is there anything you can say about the sequel,
This one will feel oddly prophetic. People are going to think I’m really smart. I’m not, I just imagined something insane and then a year later the insane happened.