Silent Tongue is a mute Kiowa Indian woman who is raped by Eamon HcCree, the owner of the Kickapoo Traveling Medicine Show. Eamon attempts to make up for his crime by marrying her, hoping for forgiveness. Instead, Silent Tongue enacts a bitter retribution through her two daughters, Awbonnie and Velada.
Awbonnie, as the film begins, has already died, but her grieving husband Talbot refuses to let her go, dragging around her corpse. To assuage Talbot, his father Prescott sets out to purchase Velada from Eamon, thinking that only Awbonnie's sister can replace her in Talbot's eyes.
But Velada's half-brother Reeves protests the attempted transaction. As a result, Prescott kidnaps Velada and flees, with not only Reeves and Eamon chasing him, but also Awbonnie's ghost.
An ambitious work that offers a weighty meditation on reparation and revenge, Shepard's poetic vision is well served by a first rate cast and Jack Conroy's expansive Scope photography
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