“Over the course of the movie we see youth and age, past and present and a good deal of memory-maybe-fantasy at work. The sound design and musical score – both by Ian Hatton – prove distinctive and lovely, adding immeasurably to the film’s success.”
By James van Maanen
The film, tonally reminiscent of 1987's "River's Edge," sets a hauntingly evocative stage with its images of rot and decay (poetically photographed by Karim Lopez) and a naturalistic soundtrack that heightens the Southern Gothic feel with buzzing insects, insistent breezes and dry, crunching grass.
By Michael Rectchaffen
West of Thunder
Awards and Nominations include:
· In March, 2013 Awarded Best Film of in Peace and in Human Rights by the Political Film Society of Hollywood, CA. The winners in the other two Best Film categories are Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" (Democracy) and Ben Affleck's "Argo" (Expose'). In its 26 year history "West of Thunder" is the first film to ever win both Peace & Human Rights categories. Past winners have included "Platoon", "Schindler's List", "Good Morning Vietnam", "Dances with Wolves", "The Green Mile", "Hotel Rwanda", "Amistad", "Gardens of Stone", "Dead Man Walking", "Blood Diamond", "Gran Torino", "Avatar", "Inglorious Bastards", "The Hurt Locker", "The Help" etc.
· Winner, Best Film Audience Choice Award 2013, the Almeria Western Film Festival, Spain.
· Invited by the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars), Hollywood, to donate the script of "West of Thunder" to their library's Core Collection.
· Invited by the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, (D.C.) and the George Gustav Heye Museum in N.Y. to be included in their collections.
· Great reviews and coverage in the L.A. Times, The Villager, Toronto Star, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, The Shutter, Euro Weekly, and many other major media outlets.
· The 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards asked "West of Thunder" to be considered for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. "West of Thunder" is the first movie of its kind, in their 44 year old history, to be considered for the NAACP's prestigious Image Award.
· Official Selection in 8 major film festivals including Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Almeria, Spain. Multiple nominations and 4 wins for Best of The Fest and Best Film.
“West of Thunder” has been signed by Indican Pictures of Hollywood for worldwide distribution. Indican is best known for distributing the massive cult favorite "Boondocks Saints" starring Willem Defoe and Norman Reedus from "The Walking Dead". It has done over $50 million in domestic video sales. They also have represented films starring Marcia Cross, Harold Ramis, Forest Whitaker, Tim Curry, Billy Zane, John Savage, Malcolm McDowell, Danny Trejo, Ernest Borgnine (in his last film) and many many more.
"West of Thunder is a strangely earnest revenge picture, a kindhearted western with its fair share of killing...walks the line of being both an enjoyable tale of revenge and an exploration of the sense of empty victory it offers...West of Thunder is curiously engaging."
Los Angeles Times
"I commend you on "West of Thunder...it's a really unusual movie ...with an interesting twist. There is a spiritual voice in this movie that I had not heard before or seen before in a movie, so it's done in a really creative way. It reminds us of our history and it also reminds us of the reality of today for the Lakota...very educational..."
Movie Critic/Radio Host
"New York's most listened to station"
"West of Thunder" is much better than anything I have seen out of Hollywood in years...there are lots of reasons why I am quite impressed by this film...it breaks or blurs the boundaries between spirit and imagination, between ghosts and the incarnate. It provides a bridge that spans the missing gap in American history...it's a spiritual mystery tale that's spooky and very thought provoking...a rich treat...and a dark tale of revenge and personal responsibility. 5 out of 5 stars."
"West of Thunder" is up for best film. It also has been nominated by the prestigious Political Film Society in Hollywood for best film on human rights and best film on peace - George Lucas' "Red Tails" is one of its competitors. It looks like a multimillion-dollar production - cinematographer John Stanier shot "Rambo III" among other films - and the sets are amazing."
G. Allen Johnson
Movie Critic/Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
"West of Thunder is a triumph of moral confrontation, surprising in its sure footed march, eventually penetrating the toughest skull in order to find that vestigial organ, the conscience. Finding a new way to describe our history is a remarkable feat. West of Thunder takes the United States of America, kicking and screaming, into the house of mirrors, and forces it to see history."
Award Winning Author/Screenwriter/Playwright
“West of Thunder was a very emotional movie for me. I had to hold back my tears at some points in the movie. Being a Lakota Native American it touched my heart in a big way. It felt like a big sigh of relief....FINALLY someone had the courage to say what hasn’t been said for decades. This movie will and has already brought healing to many Lakotas as well as other tribes, and most important healing to our races of man, especially to Americans and Native Americans which hasn’t happened yet. This movie will turn all that around now. Awareness is happening....Silence in the presence of evil is evil itself."
Lakota member of the Oglala Sioux
“With the tagline “No more silence . . . ,” the aim of West of Thunder is to break that silence, thereby meriting Political Film Society nominations for best film on human rights and best film on peace.”
Political Film Society Hollywood, CA