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Release Date: 04/19/24 [Cinemas]
Genre: Action. Adventure. .

Studio: Bleecker Street. 

"A year in the life of a unique family. It captures the daily life of the Sasquatch with a level of detail and rigor that is simply unforgettable." 


Bigfoot. Yeti. Sasquatch. It goes by many names. But naming it is nowhere near as important to humankind as finding it. Despite a search spanning decades and continents, most explorers have come up empty-handed. While it’s unclear if the fabled missing link will ever reveal itself, a new film demonstrates some funny yet profound reasons why.


Directed by brothers David and Nathan Zellner, Sasquatch Sunset follows a family of Sasquatch living in the American wilderness over the course of one year. 


Now, the film is every bit as strange as it sounds. And, on the subject of sound,  there is zero intelligible dialogue spoken throughout the film. Though it’s the furthest thing from silent. All four members of the family communicate through grunts and hand gestures. While we never know any of their names, each actor still does a fine job telegraphing their thoughts, feelings and emotions.


Riley Keough and Jesse Eisenberg play the main couple in the family, while Christophe Zajac-Denek plays a younger Sasquatch and co-director Nathan Zellner plays the patriarch. We never get their names - and the way they appear in the credits is particularly clever - but we don’t have too. Each actor is so unrecognizable - and really disappears into their respective role - that you almost forget you’re watching a movie at times. That’s both a testament to each actor’s willingness to sell the absolutely absurd material, and the Zellner bros’ Nat-Geo-inspired direction. 


So much of this film feels like a documentary without the narration. Granted, there are some unfiltered moments that feel a bit more performative than others. For example, in the first 10 minutes, we see Keough and Eisenberg’s characters mate. Later on, we see the family do a ritual where they bang large tree branches in concert. But those moments, however they threaten to lift the veil of the Zellners’ illusion, are simultaneously intoxicating. 


Without giving too much away, as the film goes on, we see that one thing the Sasquatch particularly value is life. In the span of the film’s timeline we witness how the creatures celebrate creation and mourn their dead. Now, there are a handful of sequences in the film where a character (or characters) is on the brink of dying, and other characters respond with such urgency that you can’t help but want to intervene yourself. It’s that authenticity that the Zellner bros excel at translating the most. For a film about beasts, it really speaks to what it means to be human. Whether you’re a skeptic or a true believer, because they also have their own culture and values, you feel as if you can identify with these cryptids.


Now, like nature itself, the film has its shortcomings. There are some moments where the Zellners arguably take it too far. For example, there’s one scene where we watch our protagonists defecate for about 2 minutes straight. But that doesn’t mean its overarching message should be taken any less seriously. 

To date, we all still wonder where the Sasquatch is, or if it will ever reveal itself to us. But Sasquatch Sunset makes a pretty compelling case that it might not be hiding from us after all. It poses the idea that perhaps the species has realized how dangerous we’ve made this world, and is forever in hiding. With the way that humankind is so willing to put itself in harm’s way, it’s not as wild of an idea as it sounds.

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