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An FBI man with Sioux background is sent to a reservation to help with a murder investigation, where he has to come to terms with his heritage. Slowly he rejects the intimidating tactics of his fellow FBI agents, who are not so interested in solving the crime as covering up an incriminating situation with the locals, and as he becomes more tuned to his heritage, the locals begin trusting him. Based on actual Reservation occurrences of the '70s. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
The video clip which William Dawes shows Ray Levoi in the beginning of the film is actual footage of Native American activists rioting in Custer, South Dakota. The activists were protesting the change from a white man's charges from murder to second degree manslaughter, in the death of a Native American in Custer. They scuffled with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, set fire to the courthouse, and incurred property damage. See more »
FBI agent Ray Levoi is leaving D.C. for South Dakota but when they show his plane take off, LAX's distinctive control tower is clearly visible. See more »
Thunderheart : the American Indian lives on in American Soul
Watching Val Kilmer execute a brilliant performance is not only entertaining, to say the least, but moving.
Kilmer comes to grips with his 1/4 Sioux background and with the forces of "civilization" as an FBI agent. The forces of civilization are the infamous greed and corruption, or "special interests" as some politicians prefer to use. The Sioux are accused of proud but reckless. They're right about the pride. What is omitted by the forces of civilization is the honor of these people.
Particularly engaging is the mysticism of the Sioux. FBI agent Ray Levoi (Kilmer) is gradually absorbed by this mysticism (as can be the audience), and opens greater insight into the real conflict.
While probably the majority of Americans cannot claim Native American heritage, surely, the land can. And belonging to the land, as Americans, that heritage must be ours as well. This film inspires one to feel such thoughts and feelings, especially if we feel attachment to (and presumably, love for) this land, America.
One most interesting observation about owls: one character says to Levoi, the FBI agent, "the owl is the messenger; it means somebody's going to die." That is a common interpretation in Mexico too, surely brought down by its Indians, the common vision there being that of a barn owl (lechuza, in Spanish).
This mysticism is very powerful in this film. I recommend it for quality acting performances, and high spirituality.
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