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Winter's Bone

By Sherilyn Maddex
On April 20, 2011


The Communication, Media and Theater (CMT) department, along with the Women's Studies Program and Student Union, hosted a special screening of the Academy Award nominated film, Winter's Bone, directed by Debra Granik on March 30. Set in the back-country of the Ozark Mountains, the cinematography is strikingly beautiful, encompassing the films themes of survival and poverty.

17-year-old Ree Dolly is forced to become the primary caregiver of her mentally ill mother and two younger siblings after her problematic and absentee father, Jessup, turns up missing. Jessup's primary source of income was running a methamphetamines lab along with most of the other townspeople. When he's caught, he puts up the family home for bond, and skips out on his bail. Ree is barely able to make ends meet and sets out on an awakening quest to find her father, and save her family and home. Instead, she discovers the townspeople know more than what they are leading on about the whereabouts of her father, and is confronted with the town's code of silence, for which some are willing to kill. At one point during the film's viewing, the audience seemed to gasp for air during a bone-chilling scene, as the young girl discovers just how far she does go.

Following the film, the audience engaged in a lively panel discussion moderated by Laurie Fuller of Women's Studies. Panelists Shannon Gore and Kate Kane, both CMT professors, gave an in-depth analysis on the impact of the film, as well as the implications of its varied socially constricted themes. Gore focused on the film's remarkable similarities to the movie True Grit, with the emphasis on the disturbing amount of poverty and the constraints of women in a patriarchal society.

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