The Unknown Country
Director: Morrisa Maltz Run Time: 85 min. Release Year: 2023
Starring: Devin Shangreaux, Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, Lily Gladstone, Raymond Lee, Richard Ray Whitman
Reeling from a devastating loss, Tana (Lily Gladstone) is pulled back into the world by an unexpected invitation to her cousin’s wedding. She packs up her late grandmother’s Cadillac and hits the open road, driving from her home in Minnesota to South Dakota. After reconnecting with her Oglala Lakota family, Tana sets off to retrace a surreal journey that her grandmother took decades ago, searching for the spot captured in an old family photograph. As she travels, Tana finds connection in the stories of everyday people who’ve settled down far off the main roads including Isaac (Raymond Lee), who provides a pivotal clue to understanding the lost location that could cultivate closure. A personal reverie summoned from a beguiling mix of fact and fiction, The Unknown Country is an arresting debut feature from Morrisa Maltz.
“The Unknown Country may be more a feeling than a movie, but that’s more than satisfactory. Attentive and artful, Maltz is a talent to watch, and in Gladstone, she’s fortunate enough to have a star whose presence binds us to all this soulful roaming.” ~ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
“The film’s gentle detours into the real-life stories remind us that it is the people met on the road that so often make the trip memorable.” ~ Lisa Kennedy, New York Times