Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Debra Granik

Washington, DC

This week’s podcast is a conversation with Debra Granik, the director of Winter’s Bone. Winter’s Bone is low-budget independent film that came out of nowhere and made everyone sit up and take notice. It’s an often brutal story of life in the back, back country of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Based closely on a novel by regional writer, Daniel Woodrell, Winter’s Bone tells the story of 17-year-old Ree Dolly, whose meth-cooking father used the family house as his bond when he was arrested and has since disappeared. Ree, who is already caring for her mentally ill mother and younger siblings, now must find her father or lose the house and break up the family. Winter’s Bone received many awards, including the Grand Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival and four Academy Award nominations. Reviewer after reviewer praised its utter authenticity, its “strong feeling for the dailiness of life,” and Debra Granik’s ability to reveal “a secret world that’s been hiding in plain sight: utterly alive, dangerous, both ugly and beautiful, and at times horrifying.”

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