, 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
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