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Songs My Brother Taught Me
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Songs My Brother Taught Me

Description
When their absentee father dies, Johnny feels compelled to strike out for a new life in LA, but fears leaving his sister behind with their remorsefully hard-drinking mother and her latest bad-news boyfriend.
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Songs My Brother Taught Me
CRITICS OF "Songs My Brother Taught Me"
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WBAI Radio
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March 26, 2016

An outsider looking in voyeurism veering offensively close to being more about the filmmaker's fixation on her immigrant alienation - if not a blatant exotic poverty porn aesthetic - than the brutal internal isolation of her subjects absent of causality.
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RogerEbert.com
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March 02, 2016

An earnest, smartly mounted film about life on a present-day reservation.
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AV Club
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March 02, 2016

Viewers will be torn between admiring its laid-back naturalism and wishing it possessed just a little more oomph.
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San Diego Reader
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April 07, 2016

A moseying tour of life on the Lakota reservation, circa right now: the empty beauty of the badlands, the ancient struggle with alcohol, and the persistent push of youth to make good and make sense of a bad old world that somehow keeps hope alive.
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New York Times
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March 01, 2016

Because her laissez-faire approach makes little effort to fit the fragmentary scenes into a tidy portrait of reservation life, "Songs My Brothers Taught Me" feels more authentic than if she had chosen to impose a tighter structure.
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Guardian
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March 02, 2016

The restrained performances and luscious location photography are enough to make this a film worth exploring, though it might not be a bad idea to down a few caffeine-rich drinks before settling in to watch.
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Salt Lake Tribune
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February 29, 2016

Writer-director Chloe Zhao works methodically to set up Johnny's situation, while also capturing in poetic detail the dead-end lives of poverty, alcoholism and hopelessness on the reservation.
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The Nation
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March 03, 2016

The film is exceptionally rich -- by turns raw, dreamy, harsh, sensuous, touching, intimate, garrulous, and elliptical.
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The Young Folks
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March 12, 2016

Zhao's film is imperfect, but it's a heartfelt and gorgeous one with a very timely story at its core.
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New York Post
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March 03, 2016

The slow-paced film includes all the expected social themes - drinking, poverty, broken families. Where Zhao excels is in the range of emotions she gets from a mostly nonprofessional cast.
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PopMatters
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November 10, 2016

In Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Zhao and her team have created an emotionally compelling neo-realist portrait of a family and their community experiencing the stresses and pressures of post-colonial life.
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