Crossing the punishing desert of the American West, Native American Civil War veteran Four Winds is overcome by his demons and collapses on the desert floor. As his body struggles for life, his spirit struggles to move beyond the horrors of war. Brought into a border town and saved from death by the benevolence of a desert guide, Four Winds discovers that while away his family has been murdered by the same racist Capt. Flemming who sent Four Winds Native American D Company on a suicide charge to their deaths. Encouraged by his new companion to again embrace the ways of his people, Four Winds cleanses himself in preparation for a return to town and a final confrontation with the sadistic Captain Flemming.
Making of the Short
With a running time of approximately 34 minutes, Four Winds is a short film about a man, a people and a history told on screen as never before; our story is about Native American reconciliation in the face of injustice and the greatest of all moral atrocities, genocide.
Set in the late 1860s American South-West, Four Winds is a Native American soldier fighting for the Union Army in the American Civil War. A victim of institutional racism amd rejection, Four Winds becomes a physical, emotional and spiritual casualty of the conflict. After years of recovery and spiritual void, he is thrown out of an army hospital and drags himself west towards his homelands. With the help of an unexpected guide, Four Winds learns he must accept the hard truth of how much both he and his home have changed in his absence.
Shot on over 15,000 ft of film by Director of Photography Mario Contini on Arriflex IIc 2perf and MoviCam SuperAmerica 2perf. Cameras provided by Multivision Entertainment and Infamous Los Angeles. Subrentals from Clairmont Camera, Panavision and Alan Gordon Enterprises.
The production of Four Winds was a two and a half year journey that began July 2010 with 2 days of shooting in the wilderness outside of Victorville, 3 days at historic Paramount Ranch and another 2 days in the Mojave Desert on Pierose Ranch. Due to budgetary constraints filming did not resume until November of 2011 with 2 additional days shooting at Pierose Ranch and another day of shooting at Paramount Ranch. The last installment of principal photgraphy took place in January of 2013, shooting one day at Paramount Ranch and another day on location in the Mojave.
This film is the result of the dedication and hard work of so many. The concept was originally drafted by Nick Brokaw in fall of 2008. An entirely volunteer based crew braved grueling summer desert heat and bone-chilling freezing winter winds to shoot on location and fulfill Nick’s vision. Exploring this loaded subject matter offered the actors an opportunity to share a history never before told on screen in a Spaghetti Western. Four Winds is the first of several Western films Nick Brokaw and Jerry Wolf intend to produce featuring a Native American protagonist within a specific historical context.