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Songs My Brothers Taught Me

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Director  Chloe Zhao
Music director  Peter Golub
Writer  Chloe Zhao
Language  English
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Running time  1h 38m
Screenplay  Chloe Zhao
Country  United States
Songs My Brothers Taught Me movie poster
Release date  January 27, 2015 (2015-01-27) (Sundance)
Cast  Irene Bedard (Lisa Winters), Eléonore Hendricks (Angie Britt), Taysha Fuller (Aurelia Clifford), Travis Lone Hill (Travis Lone Hill), Dakota Brown (Dakota Fire Thunder)
Similar movies  The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Songs my brothers taught me trailer

Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a 2015 American drama film written and directed by Chloé Zhao and produced by Forest Whitaker. It is Zhao's debut feature film and was developed in Sundance Institute workshops. The film, set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, explores the bond between a Lakota Sioux brother and his younger sister.


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The film premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It was later screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Songs my brothers taught me trailer sgiff 2015


JaShaun Winters and John Winters are two full siblings, living with their mother, Lisa (Irene Bedard) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. John illegally distributes alcohol to fellow residents to support his family. He is just about to graduate from high school and plans to leave the reservation to go to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Aurelia (Taysha Fuller). Nervous about leaving he visits his brother, Cody, who is in prison and who urges John to leave.

Carl Winters, their father, dies in an accidental house fire. The siblings go to his funeral, along with their mother, which is crowded as Carl had 25 children with 9 women. At the funeral the children talk amongst themselves. Some of the siblings chose not to take Carl's name as he was not around for most of their lives.

John goes to the café where Aurelia works taking JaShaun with him. Getting bored and lonely while waiting for them, JaShaun goes to the back of the café where they are kissing and overhears them talking about moving away together.

JaShaun decides to get a job, helping Travis, an artist, newly freed from prison, sell his wares. He tells her that the reason the number 7 keeps recurring is because of its religious and cultural significance but also because Crazy Horse said everything ended at Wounded Knee but would begin again in the 7th generation which is JaShaun's generation.

John breaks the news that he is moving to be with Aurelia to her family and they are unimpressed as he will have no place to live and no job. While out on an alcohol run he is attacked by rival bootleggers and his car is blown up.

JaShaun goes to Travis' home but learns that while drunk he and a friend's father beat each other up and were arrested. She goes to her first rodeo where she runs into one of her brothers, Kevin Winters, who lets her ride their father's favourite horse, Sundance. Kevin tells her that despite growing up in the same home as his parents they were seldom there, spending all their time at rodeos.

John finally tells his family he is leaving. However when he finally arrives at Aurelia's place he decides not to go and returns home. He gets a job working with one of his half brothers at a body shop and settles into his life on the reservation.


  • John Reddy as Johnny Winters
  • JaShaun St. John as Jashaun
  • Travis Lone Hill as Travis
  • Taysha Fuller as Aurelia
  • Irene Bedard as Lisa
  • Allen Reddy as Bill
  • Release and distribution

    Fortissimo Films acquired the film as its international sales agent after it premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.The film was released in theaters in France by Diaphana Distribution. In January 2016 it was announced that Kino Lorber had come on board as North American distributor with potential release that March.


    The film received strong reviews for its portrayal of young people's lives on the reservation and the setting.


    The film won the FIPRESCI prize for Best First Feature at the 2015 Jerusalem Film Festival.


    Songs My Brothers Taught Me Wikipedia
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