March 10, 2022

Prof. Emelie Mahdavian's film 'Bitterbrush' Acquired by Magnolia Pictures

Bitterbrush, the new documentary directed by University of Utah professor Emelie Mahdavian, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for distribution throughout North America. The film will be available on-demand and in theaters on June 24th. 

Bitterbrush follows two women range riders, Hollyn Patterson and Colie Moline, as they spend a long summer herding cattle in remote Idaho. The film pays close attention to the deep friendship between the two women. “Understanding the depth of their friendship comes from watching them ride horses or silently enjoy each other’s company,” writes Sheri Lindon in The Hollywood Reporter. The women discuss the anxieties of an uncertain future as well as the pains of the past, their conversations all the while grounded in not only the hard labor they’re performing but the expanse and solitude of the landscape. “Mahdavian and her intrepid collaborators have a sure feel for the sweeping expanse of their story’s Idaho terrain…With their big skies, unobstructed views and rich palettes, the film’s panoramas can look like lovingly rendered paintings,” Lindon observes in her review. In her review for Variety, Tomris Laffly describes Bitterbrush as “John Ford vistas by way of Kelly Reichardt’s lyricism, soulfully underscored by Bach.”

Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles put out the following statement: "Bitterbrush is a beautiful story of two incredible characters set against the grandeur and mythos of the American West. Emelie Mahdavian has fashioned a love letter to a vanishing way of life."