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I was blown away by this movie

Author: Petros Evdokas ( from Cyprus
7 July 2012

I saw it around the time when it first came out.

I felt it was full of things that can not be articulated, can not be represented, and remain choked up within one's awareness - or even worse, lodged within one's subconscious pushing up to be vomited in a thoroughly cleansing experience...

The cinematic language it uses is a little weird, and might have been an innovation in its time. It has not caught on (other directors don't use it) so it feels like an "odd" movie.

A previous reviewer here wrote about the character of the priest, and I also wish to underline that, yes, there's a quality about that particular character that has stuck with me all these years. Perhaps his presence in the movie stimulated my perception of some archetype that I have not yet identified?

Petros Evdokas

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A kiva of missed opportunity

Author: Jon from United States
19 September 2004

Since as a novel, "House Made of Dawn" was Pulitzer-Prize material, the inspiration must be there, somewhere. But the film adaptation is a clunker in every act, every scene, every frame. "Dawn" is little more than in essay in the depression of a young Native American man who is forced to relocate to Los Angeles after his release from prison for his murder of another Indian suspected of shape-shifting and witchcraft.

Characterization is virtually nil. The main character, Abel, portrays the "strong, silent, frustrated warrior" stereotype, Benally, his friend in the city epitomizes the "meek,Uncle Tom, paying-protection-money-to-survive" stereotype. Of course, there's Millie, playing the "requisite blond girlfriend" stereotype. The only interesting character is Tosamah, a Native American Church priest played by the conspicuously Anglo-Saxon John Saxon. Despite that, Tosamah distinguishes himself by actually being able to articulate thoughts with a non-monosyllabic vocabulary.

The music is singularly bad, an atonal flute score that sounds like it was composed by a first-year composition student a few hours after a lesson on Schoenberg. Pass on this one.

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