MUBI , the global distributor and curated film streaming service has announced that Chloé Zhao’s (dir. Nomadland) directorial debut Songs My Brothers Taught Me will be available exclusively on MUBI from 9 April 2021.

Written and directed by Chloé Zhao, Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a coming of age story set against the stark beauty of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation.

The film focuses on teenage Johnny and his younger sister Jashaun, two Lakota Sioux siblings whose bond is tested after the sudden death of their absent cowboy father. With an older brother in jail and living with their distant single mother, the pair spend their days navigating the harsh terrain of their small town where opportunity is scarce and poverty, alcoholism and violence is rife. When the chance of a new life in Los Angeles arises, Johnny is faced with the difficult choice of leaving Jashaun behind forever.

Juxtaposing the despair her characters face with a breathtakingly lyrical aesthetic that recalls the work of Terrence Malick, Zhao’s first film is a wistful and delicately observed portrayal of a marginalised community that subtly captures the everyday lives of an underrepresented social milieu. As empathetic as it is naturalistic, it marks the auspicious introduction of a distinctive and undeniable cinematic voice.

Songs My Brothers Taught Me premiered at Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, before screening at the Cannes Film Festival where Chloé Zhao received a nomination for the Caméra d'Or Award for Best First Feature Film. Zhao recently wonBest Director at the78th annual Golden Globe® Awards and the Critics Choice Awards for Nomadland, which has received numerous nominations and awards worldwide to date.Nomadland also received seven BAFTA Film Award nominations including Best Film and Best Director this week.

Whilst living in New York, Chloé Zhao read about the high suicide rate at Pine Ridge and began making trips there and meeting local people. Zhao described Songs My Brothers Taught Me as a contemplation of the time she spent on the Pine Ridge Reservation, during the four years of making the film. Casting young Lakota actors, many of whom were making their film debuts, Zhao presents a compelling and complex portrait of modern life on the Pine Ridge Reservation whilst exploring the strong bond between a brother (John Reddy) and his younger sister (Jashaun St. John).

Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015)

1h 34m

Director: Chloe Zhao

UK Release: exclusively on MUBI 9th April 2021