With a special introduction by Sarah Childress
Join us for a virtual screening of Meek’s Cutoff, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Creating the American West in Art.
Directed by Kelly Reichardt, Meek’s Cutoff subtly asks provocative questions about how narratives shape our worldviews and our loyalties. It’s 1845, and three families journeying along the Oregon Trail have been misled by their guide, Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). Completely lost, they wander for weeks, steadily draining their food and water supplies and offloading heirlooms to lighten their load. When Emily Tetherow (Michelle Williams) encounters a lone Native American man (Rod Rondeaux), his presence catalyzes a kind of trust exercise: should the travelers continue following Meek’s directions because he is one of them, or should they hope that their inscrutable and alien captive has the topographical knowledge and sense of obligation to lead them to safety? This film provides no easy answers, but instead invites us to put ourselves in the middle of this dilemma and ask ourselves what we might do, and whom we would trust.
A link to stream the film will be provided, following an introduction by Sarah Childress on Zoom.
Rated PG. 104 minutes.
About Sarah Childress
Dr. Sarah Childress has taught film courses at Vanderbilt University, Bowdoin College, and Belmont University, and introduced films and moderated discussions at the Frist Art Museum, the Belcourt Theatre, the Nashville Film Festival, and Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She helped establish the International Lens film series and produced a film, Música Campesina, which screened at internationally renowned film festivals, including the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Latinbeat festival, the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, and the Mill Valley Film Festival. Her short film Blue Dragon Mussel Wagon was exhibited at the Boston Center for the Arts, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, and Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany. Currently, she is partnering with the Belcourt Theatre to develop cinema studies curriculum for high school students.