I have a soft spot for modern-day Westerns. I enjoy the odd older Western from time to time, and I can certainly appreciate them for being the foundation of the Western genre, but personally, contemporary versions of the category are my preference.
On the topic of Westerns, the other night I watched The Bygone via Netflix. The Bygone depicts the relationship between Kip, a young rancher, and Waniya, a young Lakota woman, and as the plot progresses, it becomes apparent that the stark differences in their lives ultimately unite them. Kip meets Waniya at a brothel in his hometown, where she works, and their first encounter involves Kip rescuing Waniya from an abusive client and enabling her to escape. As their relationship intensifies, it is revealed that Waniya was forced into the sex trafficking world and reluctantly works for a man named Paris, and despite Kip’s best efforts to free her from such a troubling realm, Paris is persistent and determined to prevent Waniya from being free.
Graham Phillips plays Kip (he also directed and helped write the movie) while Sydney Schafer plays Waniya, and the character of Paris is portrayed by Shawn Hatosy. The acting in this movie is fantastic, in my opinion, and the movie itself is based on a true story with testimony from actual victims of sexual assault.
This movie technically falls into the crime, drama and mystery genres, but it has a definite Western vibe to it as a result of Kip being a rancher. It is emotional, troubling, and its subject matter is fact, making it absolutely worth anyone’s while to give it a watch. After doing some research it is fair to say that this film has mixed reviews, but personally, I think it is very well done, and it is without a doubt worth watching.