After the bones of a despised former sheriff are exhumed in the desert of a Texas town near the Mexican border, the current sheriff (Chris Cooper) begins to unearth a network of secrets kept by the locals. Featuring an ensemble of fully lived-in performances by Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew McConaughey, and Elizabeth Peña, among the very finest films in the storied career of the great American independent filmmaker John Sayles, Lone Star is an intricately staged, spellbinding neo-western set in a finely shaded world of psychologically complex characters, and one of cinema’s most searing portraits of border town politics.

“One of the great American films of the last 30 years, this has had an impact on my three features, especially Neighboring Sounds and Bacurau. Very much about archaeology applied to personal history, which naturally becomes both political and social. Texas is a fascinating landscape in U.S. cinema, but rarely has it been dissected like here. The way Sayles looks at what is buried below ground is just a beautiful idea. And seen today in the Trump era, Lone Star feels especially moving.” —Kleber Mendonça Filho 

“As men search for artifacts in the desert—after finding a skull, a Masonic ring, and a metal star—a sheriff comments, ‘This land has witnessed a large number of disagreements.’ It could be in northeastern Brazil, but it is on the border between the United States and Mexico.” —Juliano Dornelles