Victor Sjöström, USA, 1928
We see a young woman exploring and discovering the Western landscape that she has come to live in, after having left her home state of Virginia. Filmed in a very grey black and white, all the images are rendered indistinct from one another, moved by the wind, mixing the shape of characters with their background, animal and mineral, the near and the far. The characters’ dialogue conjures up a mythical image, where the wind is represented as a galloping horse, charging through the middle of the clouds, high in the sky.
As this is a silent film, the element of sound isn’t there to help us in the perception of wind – the wind comes from the construction of the image itself, lifting all stability in how the world is depicted, and held together. The wind symbolises the open hostility that both the natural and human worlds offer to her in this new location.