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Smoke Signals (1998)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  26 June 1998 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,452 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 132 user | 56 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by... See full summary »

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Title: Smoke Signals (1998)

Smoke Signals (1998) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Evan Adams ...
...
Suzy Song
...
...
...
Young Victor Joseph
...
Young Thomas Builds-the-Fire
Monique Mojica ...
...
Chief Leonard George ...
Lester Fallsapart (as Leonard George)
...
Junior Polatkin
...
Boo
Michelle St. John ...
Velma
Elaine Miles ...
...
Cathy the Gymnast
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Storyline

Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by Arnold. Arnold soon left his family (and his tough son Victor), and Victor hasn't seen his father for 10 years. When Victor hears Arnold has died, Thomas offers him funding for the trip to get Arnold's remains, but only if Thomas will also go with him. Thomas and Victor hit the road. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A new film from the heart of Native America.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$43,574 (USA) (26 June 1998)

Gross:

$6,719,300 (USA) (16 October 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "All My Relations" performed by Ulali at the end of the film uses the traditional Irish tune "Garryowen". The tune was a favorite of Acting-General George Armstrong Custer during the Civil War, and became the official air of the US 7th Cavalry Regiment in 1867. According to legend, it was the last tune played before the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where Custer and his entire regiment were killed. See more »

Goofs

When 12-year-old Victor beats Thomas up right after his dad leaves, he is wearing a white and red shirt under his button-up shirt. After he begins running, the undershirt changes to a completely red muscle-tee. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Builds-the-Fire: How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to ... the advisers and staff of the Sundance Filmmakers lab ... See more »

Connections

References Little Big Man (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Wahjeeleh-Yihm
Written by Ulali and David Beal
Performed by Ulali
(Pura Fe, Soni Moreno, Jennifer Kreisberg)
Produced by David Beal
Recorded at Noise Productions, Inc.
Pura Fe appears courtesy of Shanachie Records
Copyright Corn, Beans and Squash Music (ASCAP)/Drum's the Word (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Culture, religion and being human
21 October 1999 | by (Delaware, OH USA) – See all my reviews

I was fascinated by the fact that this film was written, directed and acted by Native Americans. As a mixed blood, this was a major draw.

What I found in this film was culture, religion and what it means to be human regardless of our racial heritage.

Watching this movie as a seminary student I was drawn to the concepts of sin, alienation and reconciliation as seen through Native American eyes. What predominately spoke to me was how Thomas seemed to incorporate Christianity into his storytelling. I'm happy that Eyre and Alexie were not afraid to portray a character in this film as Christian. With all the current information, it seems there are no Christian Native Americans.

Perhaps the format of this film is overdone, the buddy road-trip, but this film is a beginning toward understanding between two cultures that share a common land.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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