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Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015)

Not Rated | | Drama | 9 September 2015 (France)
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With an older brother in jail and living with their single mother on Pine Ridge Reservation, Johnny and his sister Jashuan's lives develop new challenges when their absentee cowboy father ... See full summary »

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5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Chloé Zhao
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Cast

Credited cast:
... Johnny Winters
Jashaun St. John ... Jashaun Winters
... Aurelia Clifford
... Angie Britt
Travis Lone Hill ... Travis Lone Hill
... Cat Clifford
... Lisa Winters
Kevin Hunter ... Kevin Winters
Derrick Janis ... Victor Chasing Hawk
Dakota Brown ... Dakota Fire Thunder
Allen Reddy ... Bill Britt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wambli BearRunner ... Auntie Wambli
George Dull Knife ... Jorge Iron Bear (as Jorge Dullknife)
Shamauri Hawkins ... Mo
Lauren Janis ... Lauren Janis
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Storyline

With an older brother in jail and living with their single mother on Pine Ridge Reservation, Johnny and his sister Jashuan's lives develop new challenges when their absentee cowboy father suddenly dies. The loss prompts Johnny to strike out for Los Angeles, but would mean leaving behind his beloved sister. Written by Red Haircrow

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Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 September 2015 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Les chansons que mes frères m'ont apprises  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,430, 6 March 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$34,195, 8 May 2016
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On a DVD extra, director Chloé Zhao said of the tight budget, light plotting, and neo-realist style casting, "We're capturing truth - because truth is the only thing we can afford." The production used mostly local residents as actors, and, according to Zhao, 80% of the story depicted is true to the actual life of the young man playing Johnny Winters (John Reddy). The house that Winters lives in is the house that Reddy lived in, and Reddy, also one of twenty-five children to one father, has many of his real family members playing members of his family. In fact, the man shown delivering the eulogy for Winters' father is Reddy's actual father. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful and moving portrait of small town life
9 December 2016 | by See all my reviews

First time director Chloe Zhao takes her cues from Terrence Malick in this beautiful portrait of two siblings on the Pine Ridge Res.

DeShaun is the youngest of two full biological siblings, taken care of by her older brother Johnny, who is about to graduate high school. A 3rd full sibling, Cody, is imprisoned, while the siblings' mother doesn't quite seem up to the task of taking care of any of her children. As graduation approaches Johnny faces a difficult decision; stay on the res where opportunity is limited but where he can take care of his sister and mother, or leave for L.A. where he knows no one and has nothing, in order to follow his girlfriend who has a full ride scholarship and who will be living in the dorms at school.

There's not a huge amount of plot outside this main conflict and the characters mostly amble in and out of situations and conversations with very little narrative threads connecting them. But Zhao remains committed to capturing the joys and hardship of residential life where everyone has to hustle for money but beauty, friends and family are everywhere to be seen.


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