What would motivate anyone in the 1880s to tackle the ridiculously harsh conditions of North Dakota with really nothing but human spirit?  Perhaps searching for a greater spirit?

This is a brief story synopsis from the official website for the movie  "A Heart Like Water"

It’s 1887 in Dakota Territory. A husband and wife, isolated in this unsettled wilderness, struggle to keep their family together and their hopes alive as they fight bitter cold, disease, wild animals, and crushing loneliness on the Dakota frontier. But they’re not just fighting for themselves… New life is on the way.  

It's a feature film that will be making its debut on December 3rd at the Oak Park Theater in Minot. That's the same theater where I first saw Jaws and Star Wars in the 1970s.  So for me, the film's off to a great start!  It then travels to Fargo, Belfield, Watford City, Grand Forks, and finally hits the screen at Bismarck's Grand Theaters on December 21st.

Strange that as I was set to write this story, a friend of mine stopped by and said- "Hey, I worked on that movie".  He's on the production side of filming and told me a couple of stories about the shooting locations near Medora and Jamestown. Interesting stuff.

It's a story about Dakota settlers as told by a New York City import to North Dakota.

Daniel Bielinski was asked to become the head of the theater department at the University of Mary.  After a few years, he founded Canticle Productions in 2018 giving him an opportunity to tell stories of the people of the prairie and still finding a place to highlight his strong feelings of faith. WDAY has a great interview with the writer/director/producer right here.

“‘A Heart Like Water’ is the most personal movie I’ve ever made,” says Bielinski, noting that it follows the story of Linda Slaughter’s book, “From Fortress to Farm,” about the Dakota settlers of the late 1800s. Slaughter, he adds, is the great-grandmother of Governor Doug Burgum.

Seems it is just the type of film many North Dakotans will love.  Struggles overcome through faith and perseverance framed against the harness of early existence on the prairies. Do yourself a favor and order a ticket here for a special showing at a theater near you.


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