July 24, 2013

Dead Man's Burden (2012)

Dead Man's Burden (2012)
Directed by: Jared Moshe
Country: USA

Review: Set in 1870 post civil war, Jared Moshe’s debut “Dead Man’s Burden” is a well-written independent western that deals with family matters. In noir tones, it tells the story of Martha (Clare Bowen) and her husband Heck (David Call), whose wish is to sell the rural lands where they live in New Mexico, to open up a hotel in San Francisco. They yearn for the deal with Mr.Lane (Joseph L.Taylor), the representative of a mining company who showed interest in buying their land, but this won’t be too simple, especially after the arriving of Martha’s brother, Wade (Barlow Jacobs), ten years after having been cast out by his father. Filmed with precision and evincing good taste on the gorgeous landscapes chosen, Moshe gives us a slow paced but solid story that brought to my mind another recent western, “Meek’s Cutoff”. It stays far from the old times' westerns, in which the shootings are vivid and thrilling, and we have sure that the protagonist will win. Instead, it adopts a more reserved attitude, although without depriving itself from creating intense moments of tension and anxiety, supported by strong psychological factors. The surprising “Dead Man’s Burden” was able to get my attention all the time, having a valuable factor in its favor: it's very hard to guess its characters' outcome.

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