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The Independent Critic

Gary McMahan, Brice Chapman, Yvonne Hollenbeck, and Jeff Nourse
Douglas Morrione
78 Mins.

 "Everything in the Song is True" an Official Selection at Heartland 

There isn't another film like Everything in the Song is True at the 2017 Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis and, let me assure you, that's a welcome shift amidst a wealth of inspirational yet familiar feature docs that seem to all too frequently center around disability, healthcare and social justice issues. While all of these topics are certainly worthy of being a doc, it's refreshing when an original voice comes along and captures an aspect of life not often seen on film.

Such is the case with Everything in the Song is True, a doc feature that circles around four iconic characters who practically define the American West - Gary McMahan is a renowned cowboy singer and poet and, yes, a champion yodeler; Brice Chapman is considered one of the world's most talented trick ropers and horse trainers; Yvonne Hollenbeck is a fourth-generation rancher and award-winning poet and quilter; and Jeff Nourse is a rancher, singer/songwriter and iron sculptor. 

Everything in the Song is True has already proven to be wildly popular on the film fest circuit with prizes at Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (Best Doc Feature), Rockport FIlm Festival (People's Choice Award), Maine International Film Festival (Audience Award), and Amsterdam Film Festival (Van Gogh Award) among others. With a gentle, independent spirit and compelling central characters across the board, Everything in the Song is True is definitely one of the true pleasant surprises of the 2017 Heartland Film Festival. 

Written and directed by Douglas Morrione, Everything in the Song is True is the kind of documentary where you sit back in your seat and you allow the film's sounds and images to wash over you as we lay our eyes on Morrione's nearly two year journey with these four and the pristine images captured from the Dakotas to Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. The film's music is sublime, the lensing impeccable and these four will likely leave you wishing to experience them more by film's end. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic