Saturday, March 19, 2016

Movie Review: ****Smoke Signals (1998)

Alexie Sherman wrote the screenplay as well as the book upon which this movie is based.  It is a great medium for Native American stories as it tells a classic story of growth and reconciliation as well as have many fascinating stories inside the story.  This movie is touted as the first all Native American movie.  As Victor (Adam Beach) struggles with first the abandonment of his father (Gary Farmer) and then the death of his father,  and his distaste for being Indian (because they all drink and hurt others) we are told a very good story.  Thomas (Evan Adams) struggles through life generally, but in his way he was worried about Victor and his reaction to his father leaving, and passing away.  Victor's mother is portrayed by Tantoo Cardinal.
This movie begins on the Coeur D' Alene Reservation and follows Thomas and Victor as the travel to Arizona to collect the things of Victor's father.  Victor can barely put up with Thomas, but through his friendship, as well as the advice of an Arizona friend of his father, Suzy Song (Irene Bedard), Victor does come to terms with his life, and with his father.  Two prominent themes in this story, it is OK to be Indian, and misuse of alcohol can have devastating effects.

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