Woman Walks Ahead

Directed by Susanna White, Starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Greyeyes

I selected this film because I wanted to see more films directed by women, and the subject seemed to be a different perspective of indigenous peoples.

Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter and Native American rights activist, travels from New York by train to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the hope of meeting Chief Sitting Bull and painting his portrait. The film is an account of her journey, the friction she faced with the soldiers and government officials who saw her visit as disruptive to the deal they were trying to work with the indigenous peoples. They viewed her meetings with the holy man as a means to strengthen his cause.

Jessica’s Chastain and Michael Greyeyes are both perfectly cast in this gorgeous slow moving film that resembles a painting. Despite the pace, I did not find the film dull or sleepy. The landscape is breathtaking, performances stellar and the focus on the the historical events and indigenous perspective was very impactful. Now I want to read what actually happened….

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