native wind

4

So I went to see “Wind River” last night. A review later. Here’s the thing, though: when I got home I scrolled through the “Wind River” tag for a good ten minutes and it was ALL Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.

NONE of the Native actors were pictured or even talked about. I was stunned.

I like Elizatbeth Olson as much as the next person, but this guy?

This is Gil Birmingham, and if you want the most powerful two scenes in the movie, they were the ones between Mr. Birmingham and Jeremy Renner. Gil Birmingham acted the shit out of his role, and the way he and Renner played off of each other in the pivotal scenes they had together was amazing.

Give the Native actors in Wind River some cred, folks. They were all amazing.

'Wind River' proves that indie filmmakers deserve more recognition.

Wind River tells the true story of an FBI agent who tens with a town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.

A big thank you to the likes of actor, writer, and now director Taylor Sheridan for having two successful scripts with female leads that don’t have sex as a major part of the story. It’s hard, nowadays, to find films and television shows that aren’t stained with this in graphic detail. Even though the film is centred around a rape of a young Native American woman, it doesn’t show the gruesomeness in its full extent.

Wind River takes us into rural America, far away from the world and cities that we’ve become used to seeing on the big screen. Those in rural Wyoming are tough and there’s no mucking around, really showing characters at the edge of darkness. The exhaustiveness of the city doesn’t reach here but it doesn’t mean these people are simple whatsoever – there’s more richness and complexity than the fake attitude and deceitfulness that may come with the supposed “high life” that we’re conditioned to aspire to, though it’s nothing but an empty shell of what it presents itself to be. People here work hard and have been through much, causing their bitter and resentful attitude’s to stir.

It’s really a shame that this film isn’t as widely recognised as Sheridan’s previous work in Hell Or High Water starring Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster that was released at the end of last year or even Sicario with Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin from 2015. It’s a film worth searching for to see at the cinemas as he’s tension and subtitles make him one of the best filmmakers of our time. There’s something about Sheridan’s films that are just so profound and thrilling as he brings to life an array of diversity in his gripping stories.

What’s disappointing is what it’s such a shame that those like Sheridan and even Jeff Nichols (MudTake ShelterMidnight Special) are overpowered by the bloated, over glorified filmmakers saturating the market today. Hollywood, however, will always look at the ticket sales instead of the work being produced, making it harder for those like Sheridan and Nichols to get their films made and released into the world.

Wind River is a complex and cleverly written thriller that starts out as a typical ‘whodunnit’ but becomes so much more than that. It’s about retribution and the clash between the outsider’s and locals, between the whites and natives, as a level of frustration arises from this murder investigation that brings up all these kinds of cultural suspicions.

In many ways, Elizabeth Olsen proves herself to be a formidable actress and the better actress of the Olsen family. She’s a character out of her element but this could also be a very good vantage point for us to see through. She’s supported by Jeremy Renner, who’s a man of few words but his actions definitely mean more than the little words he speaks. Their dynamic is not something like that of an odd-duo, it’s more the both of them trying to prove themselves in their environments.

It’s been a long time since we had a thriller that was as good as this.

Film-O-Meter: 9/10.

EDIT: It’s been brought to my attention that I’ve used a poster from sgposters and I’d like to credit her as such. Thanks to those who told me otherwise I wouldn’t have know! It wasn’t my intention to steal anyone’s work – when I was searching for the poster on Google images, it was the best one I found so a huge thank you to sgposters for the poster for this review!

Bouquet

Yuri catches the bouquet at the wedding and everyone laughs as he fumes, face crimson, yelling bloody murder at everyone who’s making fun of him, but Otabek notices that the bouquet remains miraculously pristine, the hands holding it are unusually gentle, and when he thinks no one is watching, Yuri looks at the arrangement and his expression softens. It’s an odd look he bestows upon the flowers, like he cannot quite fathom what he’s seeing, eyebrows drawn together slightly, and Otabek wants to ask what he’s thinking about, but that would mean admitting that he was watching, and anyway, he doubts Yuri would give him an answer that would be anything other than defensive.

But it occurs to him then, heart starting to race, that Yuri Plisetsky, the Ice Tiger of Russia, someone who looks at the world like he wants to tear it apart most of the time, might like the idea of getting married. And his brain instantly provides the picture; a radiant, happy Yuri in a white suit reminiscent of the Agape costume next to a faceless, nameless stranger, and Otabek feels his stomach clench.

“Beka, you’ve spaced out! What’s wrong?”

He hasn’t even noticed Yuri walking over to him. Otabek is sure his face is turning red, but instead of making up something, he just points to the bouquet.

“Shall we find a vase for them?”

“I…” Yuri looks down at the flowers in his hand and for a second Otabek is convinced that he’s going to throw them away in defiance, he can almost see the battle going on inside him. But in the end he doesn’t. “Sure, whatever. They were probably expensive. Shit - Viktor showed me their budget for flowers alone, it could feed a small family for a month. Weddings are ridiculous.”

Otabek bites his lip in order not to smile.

“They sure are.”

Wind - Superstition & Folklore

Air is the element of the East, connected to the soul and the breath of life.

Deities & Creatures Associated With Wind

In many magical traditions, air is associated with various spirits and elemental beings.

  • Sylph - They are typically connected with the air and the wind - these winged creatures are often related to powers of wisdom and intuition. Paracelsus described these beings as invisible beings of the air. They are mortal, but soulless. 
  • Stribog - The Slavic god of winds, sky and air. He is said to be the ancestor (grandfather) of the winds of the eight directions.
  • Tate - The Lakota wind god or spirit.  There are four primary wind spirits, referenced in relation to the four directions. It is thought that the wind unites “all” in one spirit, and that eagles, who stand on the wind, are the carrier of vision. Tate is said to guide one through obstacles. As the invisible realm, wind connects past present and future, connecting ancestors and future generations , uniting humankind into the essential, eternal spirit.
  • Zephyr - In popular lore Zephyrs are the guardians of the winds. Zephyr was the west wind in Greek myth, son of Aurora, goddess of dawn. He was the lover of Flora, goddess of flowers and together they cause the flowers to grow in spring.
  • Thunderbird - It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. The thunderbird’s name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind.
  • Skosrå - They are Swedish wood spirits that are present whenever a violent whirlwind appears and the trees are shaken to breaking point.

Gifts of Air/Wind

Breath is a divine gift, returned to the giver at death. The secret of breath is part of the magic of air. We take air into us which contains vital energy that some call prana and others chi. When we breathe in deeply we inhale this life force and rhythmic breathing exercises helps to attune you to the powers of air. 

Inhaled air is the sustaining breath of life, while exhaled air carries the words, poetry, and song that communicate human ideas and knowledge. In many myths creation is brought to life when a god breathes into it. It was often thought that spirit could be blown into or out of people; demons were blown out of people. 

The powers of air are also concerned with the intellect, the powers of the mind, knowledge [as opposed to wisdom], logic, inspiration, information, teaching, memory, thought and communication. Like the other elements, the powers of air can be constructive or destructive. The gentle breeze cools and brings the life giving rain, but it can become the destructive hurricane. It is for this reason that the magical symbol of air is a two-edged sword.

The voice of the air spirits is heard in the wind. There were many scared groves where the voices of spirits were heard in the wind whispering in the trees. The head of the alder was used as whistle so that the spirits might speak through it. The druids were attuned to interpreting these voices, and druid means ‘oak knowledge’.

People who have air dominant in their psychological make-up are flexible, versatile, dextrous, tasteful, idealistic, original, individual and tolerant. However, they can also be distant, self opinionated, easily bored, impatient, self-deceiving, superficial, indecisive, quarrelsome, manipulative, thoughtless, cruel, fickle, inconsistent, unreliable and two-faced.

Superstitions

  • In Feng Shui, wind chimes are believed to bless one’s home with prosperity and happiness. Hang a set by your front door so that good energy will be brought in every time the wind blows. In contrast, in parts of Appalachia, wind chimes are considered a bad idea, because they call up spirits of the dead.
  • Sailors had a number of superstitions about wind and air. In some cultures it was said that if a ship was becalmed at sea, sticking a knife in the mainmast would draw the wind to the sails, as would throwing a ha’penny overboard. Shooting stars meant the wind was about to pick up, and whistling aboard ship could call up an ill wind.
  • In parts of the British Isles, tradition says a howling dog indicates that the wind is coming to take away the spirits of the dead.
  • A shooting star shows that wind is coming from the direction toward which it goes.
  • Do not fish when the wind is in the west; the fish will not bite.
  • Direction of The Wind - The direction of the wind on New Year’s morning is said to predict prophesies about the coming year. Wind from the south, expect money and happiness. Wind from the north, foresees a year of foul weather. Wind from the east brings famine and bad luck, while wind from the west brings milk and fish, but the death of someone important. No wind brings joy and prosperity throughout the year.

I avoid letting this native tongue hear the wind of your smile. We sit patiently on books that double as the weight of who you always wanted me to be, but instead I’ve been collecting mirrors so you’ll never have to look me in the eye. I keep these thoughts folded hoping you’ll use your hands to untie me, but I know I tiptoed around your laugh for too long, we’ve become pillars holding up the same sky. You watched me walk away with your heart and still thanked the sun for kissing my eyes goodnight. I broke the lines you saved the picture you were mailing to the mountains, and still warmed the hole I colored in my shirt. They say pain is temporary, but we know it’s fucking persistent My words only mean something whenever they’re about you, darling, thank you for always being the right amount of light whenever my world gets a little dark.