The Unknown Country starts when someone is lost, and something is found. A last minute invitation to her cousin Lainey’s wedding prompts Tana (Lily Gladstone) to pack up her grandmother’s Cadillac and journey from Minneapolis to Spearfish, South Dakota. This is just the beginning of Tana’s largely solitary quest with an unknown destination. From the Midwest to the Texas-Mexico border, Tana navigates the complex, post-2016 election social climate, and a natural landscape that is increasingly surreal. Along the way, she bonds with non-actors who are unknown to her yet intrinsically familiar. These real people share the stories that bind them to each other and to the landscape that they have become a part of. At times at ease, and at times on edge on her journey as a woman traveling alone through this unfamiliar landscape, Tana endures the highs and lows of prolonged aimlessness. Her openness to unanticipated connection leads her to Isaac (Raymond Lee) who connects the paths Tana and her grandmother have carved.
Gladstone takes on a lead role with equal measures of vulnerability and playfulness, adding up to an endlessly captivating and tenderly potent performance.
Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award Nominee
Best International Feature Nominee
Calgary International Film Festival 2022
Grand Jury Prize Nominee
Champs Élysées Film Festival 2022
Montclair Film Festival (MFF) 2022
Lily Gladstone in THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY. Courtesy of Music Box Films.
Pam Richter in THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY. Courtesy of Music Box Films.
Cole Weber and Dale Leander Toller (left to right) in THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY. Courtesy of Music Box Films.
Devin Shangreaux, Jazmine Shangreaux, and Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux (left to right) in THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY. Courtesy of Music Box Films.
THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY. Courtesy of Music Box Films.
Headshot: Director, Morrisa Maltz