The long-anticipated feminist Western “The Keeping Room” has a trailer. The Civil War thriller, which premiered at TIFF 2014, focuses on sisters Augusta and Louise (Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld) and Mad, the family slave (Muna Otaru). The trio fight with all they’ve got to protect their home — and their lives — from a group of dastardly soldiers in the final days of the war. “We can hold them,” Augusta assures her comrades.
The intense spot for the film includes equal measures of suspense and gunfire. “I’ve been waiting for you,” a soldier threateningly tells Augusta. Rather than cowering away from the danger, she confronts it head-on, telling the soldier, “I’ve been looking for you.”
Women and Hollywood founder and editor Melissa Silverstein led a TIFF Talk with the film’s cast and screenwriter, Julia Hart. Marling said she found the script so gripping that she read it twice in one sitting, adding,”These girls are empowered and strong, and the fact that they banded together made them even more so.” It must be noted, however, that the trio of Southern women aren’t on equal footing — Mad is a slave, after all. Fortunately, the film explicitly deals with the injustice of Mad’s slavery.
“The Keeping Room” will open in theaters sometime in October, exact date TBA.