Dead Man's Burden.
A slow-burning tater that's not gun-shy when it matters, "Dead Man's Burden" reps an impressive first feature from producer-turned-helmer Jared Moshe. Set right after the Civil War, this intimate story--it's essentially a four-hander--compensates for its small scale with widescreen New Mexico vistas, and unfolds not just gradually but with the precision and force of irrevocable tragedy. The unknown cast is aces, and Moshe inscribes his loquacious film in the Western tradition without overdoing the references to the classics, suggesting this Cinedigm release could appeal to a genre-loving, indie-savvy crowd who'll hopefully understand the pic's clearly bigscreen material.
CREDITS: Directed, written by Jared Moshe. Reviewed at Thessaloniki Film Festival (Open Horizons--Special Screenings), Nov. 5, 2012. (Also in Los Angeles, Hamptons film festivals.) Running time: 93 MIN.
With: Barlow Jacobs, Clare Bowen, David Call, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Richard Riehle.