Brothers Parker and Graham Phillips co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced a magnificent contemporary Western, THE BYGONE, which tackles difficult issues such as sex trafficking, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the decline of ranching, and the corrupting influence attending resource extraction.When a young rancher, Kip Summer, played by Graham Parker, crosses paths and falls in love with a Lakota girl, Waniya, from a nearby reservation, her mysterious disappearance sparks a search that uncovers a harrowing past and hints at a dire future.The awful realities of sex trafficking among the man camps and bars in fracking site boom towns, and the inability of overwhelmed local law enforcement to cope leads to a dramatic series of show downs and shoot-outs in the best Western tradition.The well researched screenplay is rich with symbols and informed with a sensitivity to historic and current inequities between Indigenous and Anglo cultures, as well as the conflicts between ranching and fracking. The ensemble cast was clearly dedicated to portraying each character’s role with utter conviction.The cinematography serves the action far better than the normal Western and is deserving of its own award.
The Bygone will be having its premiere at the BZN International Film Festival on Friday, June 7 at 8pm in the Rialto Black Box. The filmmakers expect to attend for a Q&A.
For more information or to purchase tickets: bozemanfilmcelebration.com