Portrait of three people in West Virginia who embody the pioneer spirit. There is Nellie, a seamstress who makes one of a kind clothing, im who is a blacksmith and Jim who is a hospital chaplain.
While I don’t think the film really makes the pioneering spirit theme that is supposed to tie the film together work, I think that three stories of three different people does. These are three really nice people who we would love to hang out with. I really don’t care if they are pioneering in spirit or not they simply people we want to know. The trio fully embodies the the other thing that the filmmakers wanted to highlight, West Virginians who are not poor, criminals or stereotypical.
Personally I connected most to Jim. Because friend and Unseen films writer Nate Hood is a hospital chaplain as his day job I connected a bit more. Having heard tale of Nate’s rounds made me lean into Jim’s story a bit more. Some of the stories, say the estranged daughter connecting with her dying father, moved me.
It should be said that O Pioneer is a visually beautiful film. The cinematography by director Jonathan Lacocque is the tissue that connects the various parts of this film together. The film looks so good that I really wish I had seen this on a big screen where the images of these three individuals could have taken my breath away.
This is a lovely film no matter how you view it and is recommended,