Is Wind River Based on a True Story?

Released in 2017, “Wind River” is a neo-Western murder by Taylor Sheridan that follows the story of Cory Lambert, portrayed by Jeremy Renner, a wildlife tracker who discovers the body of a young Native American woman in the desolate, snow-covered wilderness of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The film explores themes of grief, justice, and the harsh realities faced by indigenous communities, making it a thought-provoking and intense viewing experience.

As viewers delve into the chilling tale set against the backdrop of a Native American reservation, the question on many minds is: Is “Wind River” based on a true story?

What is Wind River About?

The movie begins with Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a tracker for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, uncovering the frozen body of an 18-year-old girl on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen), an FBI agent, comes to the crime scene following Lambert's discovery to investigate a suspected homicide case, as the FBI has authority over Native-American reservations. The autopsy indicates that the girl had been murdered and raped earlier.

Is Wind River Based on a True Story?

When the duo tries to interview the girl's boyfriend, they discover that he has also died. Flashbacks show the horrible night when the girl was murdered.

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Meanwhile, as Lambert and Banner grow closer to discovering the mystery, their own lives are jeopardized. Following a nail-biting conclusion, the film concludes with a disturbing revelation: missing persons records are kept for all demographic groups except Native American women.

Is Wind River Based on a True Story?

No, Wind River is not based on a true incident. However, its premise is inspired by the very real, horrible, and under-reported occurrences of missing women and sexual abuse in the female Indigenous American community.

However, it was inspired by real-life concerns about missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada and the United States of America.

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To clarify, the plot of ‘Wind River' is not directly related to, based on, or inspired by any particular murder case involving an indigenous woman. Sheridan's attempt to shed light on the subject merits further attention (more on that later).

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