Smoke Signals (Widescreen) product details page

Smoke Signals (Widescreen)

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Smoke Signals gained notoriety for being the first major release to be directed by, written by, and star Native Americans. While the film takes a look at the many factors affecting the Native American community (alcoholism, reservation life), it also addresses in pointed, but not overbearing, ways the history of the Native American onscreen. The two lead characters represent these two areas of concern. Evan Adams, in a performance that should have received deafening praise, delivers Thomas' wonderful stories ("fine examples of the oral tradition") with a joy that is infectious. This character presents a strong argument that Native Americans were born to tell stories, so why should anyone question them directing movies? Adam Beach's Victor makes the difficult emotional journey in the film. He must learn to make peace with his personal history after his estranged, alcoholic father dies. His anger and stoicism are real, but they are also the masks of a young man who has hid from himself for too long. The character arguably represents the filmmakers' attitude toward their own history. What makes Smoke Signals special is that, while addressing specific aspects of Native American life, it is so universal. Everyone must confront where they came from (both personally and as a people) at some point in life. Smoke Signals should not be praised for being a Native American movie; it should be praised for being a warm, humorous, truthful film about people. Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide