By Cynthia Logan BOZEMAN FILM FESTIVAL

BOZEMAN – The Bozeman Film Festival and Ranchwater Films are prescreening “Winter In The Blood” Friday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Emerson’s Crawford Theater. At 6:30 p.m., director Andrew Smith will be present in the lobby for a meet-and-greet social hour. Smith will introduce the film then host a Q-and-A after the screening.

In their first movie since “The Slaughter Rule,” twin directors Alex and Andrew Smith have made a hauntingly beautiful film that is true to the lyrical and unflinching spirit of James Welch’s classic 1974 novel about Native American life upon which it is based.

In the film, Virgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer), a Blackfoot American Indian, wakes in a ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana, hungover and badly beaten. He returns to his ranch on the reservation to find that his wife Agnes (Julia Jones) has left him. Worse, she’s taken his beloved rifle.

Virgil sets out to town find Agnes – or perhaps just the gun – beginning a Hi-Line odyssey alongside the mysterious “Airplane Man” (David Morse), a beautiful barmaid, and two dangerous men in suits. The viewer cannot be sure if these traveling partners are real, or if they’re spirits guiding him away from his true path, but ultimately, Virgil’s quest brings him face-to-face with childhood memories of his beloved lost brother Mose.

Recipient of the first Montana Film Office Big Sky Film Grant, “Winter In The Blood” was filmed around the Montana Hi-Line communities of Havre, Chinook, and the Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy Reservations, with strong community and tribal involvement.

“[The] sense of reality and storytelling coming together is especially strong,” said Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times.

Rated PG-13, the film runs 105 minutes and also features Michael Spears (“Dances with Wolves”) and associate producer Sherman Alexie. Tickets are available beginning April 25 at Cactus Records, and in the Emerson’s lobby one hour before the film.

Visit bozemanfilmfestival.org for previews and up-to-date information.