Wind River – Justice is served, but a bit cold (and late)

It is often said that revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, maybe not for justice. When justice is served cold (and late), someone has had to suffer injustice, and no matter what, it may be too little too late, and there will be a bitter taste in the end. And that was what happened in Wind River, a thrilling movie about the snow, the battle for life and the quest for justice.

A young Indian girl was found dead in the snow, with some apparent foul play signs in place. It could easily be classified as a case of natural death, if not for a stroke of luck that brought a hunter to the scene before all the signs had been buried by the heavy snowfall of winter Wyoming or a pack of hungry coyotes. And everything changed thanks to the determination of a young FBI agent and the wit of the hunter, an unlikely partnership that turned out fruitful in the end.

The story was gripping, and the performance of the lead cast was way above average. Renner was emotional, having to relive his own tragedy all over again. Olsen was quite good too. She exuded determination, and it was easy to connect with her emotionally as she really lived in the role and acted naturally. It was worth watching, even though is was not at all a happy story. And it may still leave you in a state of unbalanced after the credits have rolled.

Another subtle issue that was raised in this movie is the racism towards Native Indian community in the US. From the position of the owner of the land, they were forced to give up most of their territory and now constrained to a kind of natural concentration camp. They lost their land, their home, their lives, and now they are given a place in a harsh corner with harsh living condition and nothing much but snow and wind. And even though they may be registered as American citizen, they are surely not treated equally as other Americans in other parts of the country. Imagine if such a suspected murder case happens in Washington or New York, and the girl is a white American, surely there will be a small army of seasoned investigators onsite in a few minutes after the case is reported. Here, they only send a young agent, vastly unequipped for anything at all, with a superfluous task to come and file a report. America may be the land of dreamers, but some people are definitely allowed to dream bigger than the others.

The girl is dead, and nothing can change that fact. But with quality movies like this, it is only hoped that more awareness will be raised on the topic of the Native Indian community in the US, their living conditions, their treatment and the social attitude towards them. And when that starts gaining traction, probably they will receive a better treatment, there will be more help, and more opportunities will come their way. It is a small step, but in the right direction. Job well done.

Rating: 4 feathers out of 5

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