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With: Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal, Cody Lightning, Simon Baker, Monique Mojica, John Trudell, Chief Leonard George, Michael Greyeyes, Darwin Haine, Michelle St. John, Elaine Miles, Cynthia Geary, Gary Taylor, Perrey Reeves, Nicolette Vajtay, Molly Cheek, Robert Miano, Tom Skerritt
Written by: Sherman Alexie, based on his book
Directed by: Chris Eyre
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense images
Running Time: 89
Date: 01/16/1998

Smoke Signals (1998)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Indian Summer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Smoke Signals is a landmark in movie history, being the first film written, directed, and produced by American Indians. Happily, it is also a good film, full of fire and humor and magic. Victor (Adam Beach) goes on an odyssey to collect the remains of his father, who left when Victor was a boy. Thomas (Evan Adams), a nerdy kid who tells stories, goes with him. The storytelling is handled in an engaging, magical way, and we slowly learn what really happened. The movie blows away Indian cliches and misconceptions. Smoke Signals also features the gorgeous Irene Bedard, who was the model for Disney's Pocahontas, and Gary Farmer, from Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man. Smoke Signals was written by Sherman Alexie, adapted from his short stories, and directed by first-timer Chris Eyre. It won the Audience Award and the Filmmaker's Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, and was featured at the Dockers Classically Independent Film Festival at the Castro.

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