The tenth annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival, aka IndieFest, offers a plethora of non-Hollywood features, documentaries, and shorts for two weeks. The Feb. 7 opening-night film, Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories, is an outstanding rural drama that opens as a low-key rustic comedy about three marginally employed Southerners. It gradually deepens as Nichols slowly reveals the dark family history of the three brothers and their escalating feud with their ne'er-do-well father's other family. As Nichols avoids melodrama in favor of character study, quirky humor, and appealingly filmed scenes of Southern life, Shotgun Stories builds up impressive suspense as the family relationships get ever more toxic. (More after the jump!)
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