Daniel Barber’s feminist Western “The Keeping Room” was a critically acclaimed drama that just couldn’t find its legs at the box office when it was released in select theaters last September. And yet, thanks to some appearances on end-of-the-year compilation lists and this excellent new Mondo poster, it seems like “The Keeping Room” might just get a second chance at discovery for audiences looking for a worthy surprise.
Set in the rural South of 1865, the drama takes place at the end of Civil War on a remote farm run by three women: Augusta (Brit Marling), her teenage sister Louise (Hailee Steinfeld) and their slave Mad (Muna Otaru). As all the men in their lives vanished long ago on the battlefield, the women exist in a static world, but their lives soon change when two soldiers discover their home and fight to take ownership of it.
Tensely directed by Barber (“Harry Brown”), “The Keeping Room” takes place almost entirely in the confines of its barren South Carolina farm, but it’s dense with physical activity and grander implications about gender, race and American progress. The film hits DVD and Blu-ray on February 2. Check out the new Mondo below.