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    Songs My Brother Taught Me

    When their absentee father dies, Johnny feels compelled to strike out for a new life in LA, but fears leaving his sister behind with their remorsefully hard-drinking mother and her latest bad-news boyfriend.
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  • Actors of "Songs My Brother Taught Me"

  • Directors of "Songs My Brother Taught Me"

    ChloƩ Zhao. Director of Songs My Brother Taught Me
    ChloƩ Zhao
  • Creators of "Songs My Brother Taught Me"

    ChloƩ Zhao. Director of Songs My Brother Taught Me
    ChloƩ Zhao
  • Critic Reviews of "Songs My Brother Taught Me"

    San Diego Reader
    April 07, 2016

    A moseying tour of life on the Lakota reservation, circa right now: the empty beauty of the badlands, the ancient struggle with alcohol, and the persistent push of youth to make good and make sense of a bad old world that somehow keeps hope alive.

    New York Post
    March 03, 2016

    The slow-paced film includes all the expected social themes - drinking, poverty, broken families. Where Zhao excels is in the range of emotions she gets from a mostly nonprofessional cast.
    March 02, 2016

    An earnest, smartly mounted film about life on a present-day reservation.

    AV Club
    March 02, 2016

    Viewers will be torn between admiring its laid-back naturalism and wishing it possessed just a little more oomph.

    New York Times
    March 01, 2016

    Because her laissez-faire approach makes little effort to fit the fragmentary scenes into a tidy portrait of reservation life, "Songs My Brothers Taught Me" feels more authentic than if she had chosen to impose a tighter structure.

    November 10, 2016

    In Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Zhao and her team have created an emotionally compelling neo-realist portrait of a family and their community experiencing the stresses and pressures of post-colonial life.

    WBAI Radio
    March 26, 2016

    An outsider looking in voyeurism veering offensively close to being more about the filmmaker's fixation on her immigrant alienation - if not a blatant exotic poverty porn aesthetic - than the brutal internal isolation of her subjects absent of causality.

    The Young Folks
    March 12, 2016

    Zhao's film is imperfect, but it's a heartfelt and gorgeous one with a very timely story at its core.

    The Nation
    March 03, 2016

    The film is exceptionally rich -- by turns raw, dreamy, harsh, sensuous, touching, intimate, garrulous, and elliptical.

    March 02, 2016

    The restrained performances and luscious location photography are enough to make this a film worth exploring, though it might not be a bad idea to down a few caffeine-rich drinks before settling in to watch.

    Salt Lake Tribune
    February 29, 2016

    Writer-director Chloe Zhao works methodically to set up Johnny's situation, while also capturing in poetic detail the dead-end lives of poverty, alcoholism and hopelessness on the reservation.

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