Home / WorldWide / Dark Winds gives the doomed American West of Yellowstone one last shot at redemption

Dark Winds gives the doomed American West of Yellowstone one last shot at redemption

This new noirish crime drama centres the indigenous Navajo experience says Amanda Whiting and is all the better for it.The story most commonly told about the American West is its swansong. The novels of Cormac McCarthy. The movies of John Wayne. On TV Yellowstones soapy ode to the diminished cowboy. All are love letters to a rugged existence thats prevalent theme is certain doom.

Dark Winds a taut new tribal cop noir based on Tony Hillermans best selling novels decentres the worn out tale of the white mans desolation. Its set in 1971 about a hundred years after the US government forced the Navajo people into a New Mexico internment camp before returning a small portion of their homeland in the form of an Indian reservation known as Navajo Nation. Yet this Navajoland drama feels more urgent and less plaintive than most of the frontier canon. The acting is impeccable the writing is crystal and tight. But itWestworlds Zahn McClarnon as Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn as solid and severe as the Arizona reservation he polices that emblemises the series stalwart outlook. The story of the American Indian is a story of heartbreak and perseverance. Maybe this time just this once the West can outrun its inevitable end.

The first episode starts with an extravagant helicopter bank heist quickly followed by a double homicide with two indigenous victims. Dark Winds is first and foremost a moody crime drama like Mare of Easttown or True Detective. Lieutenant Leaphorn is fundamentally a small town cop its just that his small town comprises 27,000 square miles of dusty Navajoland. To help he has two deputies reservation lifer Bernadette Manuelito Jessica Matten and Jimmy Chee Kiowa Gordon a university grad who would rather not be back on tribal land.Its immediately clear that criminals make up a fraction of what Leaphorn is up against. His constituents who speak a combination of English and the Navajo language Diné do not trust the US government or anyone else who knocks on their door in uniform. But its the local FBI commanded by Agent Whitover Noah Emmerich who pose the biggest impediment to catching a killer. Even on the reservation homicide is a federal crime and the feds reputation for racism precedes them. Since when do the FBI give a damn about a dead Indian? a victims mother asks not expecting an answer.

About Nabeel Haider

Check Also

The Sandman Who are the Endless?

Coming to Netflix this August The Sandman arguably contains the mythology painstakingly pieced together by …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.