“Winter In The Blood, ” the movie adaptation of the James Welch novel, has been finished, the trailer has been posted online and a release date announcement is around the corner.
Alex Smith, who co-wrote and directed the film with his brother Andrew, posted on his Twitter profile last month, “Ladies & Gentlemen — we have officially completed Winter in the Blood! We can't wait to share it with the world. More on that very soon—”
The trailer is longer than the version shown to a Missoula audience at last February’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. The delay was at least partially caused by the process of clearing the rights to the song in the trailer, “Into the Open” by the Heartless Bastards, who are from Austin, Texas, where Alex is a lecturer.
The movie was filmed across the Hi-Line in late summer 2011. The Smiths’ production office was on the second floor of the Masonic building. Many scenes in the trailer feature recognizable locations from downtown Chinook, Havre and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, where James Welch spent some of his childhood and where the story takes place.
Andrew, who teaches at the University of Montana, and Alex grew up near Missoula, where they spent time with Welch and fell in love with Welch’s work.
“Winter in the Blood, ” which was published in 1974, is the story of Virgil First Raise, and his trek across the Hi-Line to find his runaway wife and the gun she took from him, haunted by the deaths of his father and brother.