A short film produced, written and directed by Neil Brookshire; adapted from the novel, A Country Called Home, by Kim Barnes.
The opening paragraph of the novel by Kim Barnes, A Country Called Home, captured me almost unexpectedly.
I was familiar with Kim’s work already, but there was something uncanny about what I was seeing on the page. I grew up in the west. I have experienced the expanses, the mountains, rivers, and also the small things of the natural world that embody both beauty and danger.
Coming off the page was a dialogue between people and nature just as profound as anything people say to each other. And that was before I knew what the story was about.
Set against such beautiful country, it is a story about people who have been orphaned in some way; either literally, emotionally, or psychologically. Whatever their past, the characters try to outrun it, bury it, face it, or simply move on to create a life of their own, to find home. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
The power of this narrative for me is the beautiful but often unforgiving environment, depth of character, and the timeless search in all of us to find home.
After the complicated birth of her first child, Helen feels isolated and estranged from her doctor husband in their new home. She struggles to rediscover a sense of freedom in an unforgiving and rugged landscape, to connect with those around her before she loses herself completely.
This 1960s back-to-the-land story begins as Helen and Thomas Deracotte set up their new home in rural, rugged Idaho, having abandoned their New England upbringing for a simple, but adventurous life. But after the complicated birth of their first child, Helen struggles to adjust. She feels isolated from Thomas, who seems unable to connect with Helen altogether. They increasingly rely on Manny, their live-in hired hand, to keep things going on their ranch. In a desperate and impulsive attempt to regain a sense of freedom and sense of self, Helen’s brief encounter with Manny sends them both into an emotional spin, with tragic consequences for the family.
Source Material – A Country Called Home
“Filled with exquisitely etched landscapes, the novel brims with the smell of brambles and berries along an Idaho riverbank, the gritty feel of the dust in an abandoned homesteader’s shack, the sounds of grouse and quail in the fields.”–The New York Times Book Review
a Washington Post best book of the year
Neil Brookshire is a professional actor, writer, and artist. He has worked in theater and film for over twenty years. His artwork hangs in homes across the US. He is the founder of Dirt Hills Productions.
Tracy Sunderland (Producer/Director) is a professional writer, director, actor and teacher working in theatre and film. She’s written and directed several short films and plays for young audiences; her first feature script was shot in Greece this summer. She is the Artistic Director of the physical art company Migration Theory, and an Associate Artist with Boise Contemporary Theater. She also teaches at Boise State University and The Cabin. Tracy received the 2015 Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellowship in Filmmaking Award and the 2015 Boise State Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award.
Kim Barnes (Author of A Country Called Home, the source material for BRAMBLE) is a contemporary American author. Her first memoir was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She is a professor of writing at the University of Idaho. (photo by Scott M. Barrie)
BRAMBLE will shoot in Sun Valley, Idaho
This project is fiscally sponsored by the Boise Film Foundation.
(For contributions through the BFF website, scroll to bottom of donation page, and be sure to type “Bramble” in notes section. And thank you!)
For other questions, please contact Neil Brookshire directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org