Native Americans in Los Angeles. For 12 hours one Friday night, from late afternoon until dawn, we follow a handful of urban Indians. Yvonne is pregnant, commenting on her life and dreams ... See full summary »
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Fernando E. Solanas
María de la Paz,
Fernando E. Solanas,
Native Americans in Los Angeles. For 12 hours one Friday night, from late afternoon until dawn, we follow a handful of urban Indians. Yvonne is pregnant, commenting on her life and dreams as she shops, walks home, cooks dinner, and watches her husband Homer leave with his friends. Homer and his pals go bar hopping, play some poker, and end up, bottles in hand, with other Indians on a hilltop. During the night, the men pick up women, there are fights, there's camaraderie, and Homer reflects on life in the city versus life on the reservation. At dawn, Yvonne watches Hector from a window as he and two pals and two women head somewhere. "Let's do it again tonight," says one. Written by
A 1961 documentary chronicling a day in the life of a group of twenty-something Native Americans who left reservation life in the 1950s to live in LA.
The Exiles by Kent Mackenzie, USA (Documentary). A 1961 documentary chronicling a day in the life of a group of twenty-something Native Americans who left reservation life in the 1950s to live in LA.
A unique and powerful film, blending storytelling with documentation. Mackenzie constructed a narrative about one day in the life of three main characters - a pregnant young woman (Yvonne), the father (Homer), and a man about town (Tommy). Both men are profound alcoholics, and the woman seems stunned by the circumstances of her life though hopeful for the future of her child.
The film opens with portraits from Edward Sheriff Curtis's monumental North American Indian, which I recommend as a starting place. Mackenzie has a sharp eye for cultural details - check out the Grand Hotel mattress in Yvonne and Homer's apartment, as well as the magazines, comics, advertisements, toys, and street scenes.
The story develops via voiceovers by Yvonne, Homer, and Tommy - and an amazing middle sequence from the rez, with generous doses of native language and music.
This is a must-see movie for anyone interested in social work, indigenous peoples, or the dark side of American culture. Never boring for any viewer.
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