Dark Winds — a compelling whodunnit

Dark Winds
Dark Winds protagonists Joe Leaphorn (left, Zahn McClarnon) and Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon). Image supplied

Dark Winds
Starring Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Noah Emmerich, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison
In English and Navajo
Six part series streaming from June 12 on AMC+

Dark Winds, based on the Leaphorn and Chee novel series by Tony Hillerman is set in 1971 against the beautiful and austere landscape of Monument Valley in the United States.

It revolves around the struggles of the Navajo Tribal Police, who have authority on the huge expanse of the Navajo Reservation. They must deal with a series of seemingly unconnected crimes, which become more complex as the episodes progress.

The writers for the series are all Native American and a large part of the dialogue is in Navajo with English sub-titles, which creates a satisfying difference from most US television.

Many significant social issues, such as pervasive poverty, the forced sterilization of Navajo women, racist indifference from US authorities and radical Native American politics weave though the story. Additionally, there are tensions created by personal dishonesty and conflicting loyalties.

The writers have created an enthralling and compelling whodunnit with striking political tones that will keep you guessing until the end.