The film is about two neighboring couples on the frontier. The leads of the film, Kirby and Waterston, play the women in these relationships who, over the course of four seasons, find a deep and life-changing connection with one another.
“It isn’t that long ago when … you were literally owned by your household, by the man that you happened to be married to,” Kirby said. “I just found it so moving, and it touched me so deeply, and the thought that you can’t choose who you love and you can’t even choose to do what you like, to love who you want.”
According to Fastvold, writer Jim Shepard was inspired to write the short story that the film is based on while looking through farmers’ journals from a great snowstorm in upstate New York in 1856. As he was researching, he came across a note that said, ‘My best friend has moved away, and I don’t think I will ever see her again.’
The short story was eventually adapted into a screenplay by Shepard and writer Ron Hansen. The script was handed off to Fastvold eventually by producer Whitaker Lader.
“It was just one of those stories that I knew exactly how to tell,” Fastvold said. ‘When I read it I had this rare moment where I felt I just knew how to solve the puzzle of it all.”
Fastvold directed her first film, The Sleepwalker, in 2014. Since then she’s worked with Brady Corbet on well received films like Childhood of a Leader and Vox Lux. She also contributed to the script for last year’s The Mustang.
The first clip from The World to Come can be viewed below.