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 »
Depicts the struggles of reservation-dwelling Native Americans in the North Central United States. The main character is an introspective and lovable person in a process of seeking pride ... See full summary »
A story of life on a First Nations reserve in Ontario: Silas and Frank are trying to get into college to train to be mechanics but they find themselves having to deal with girls, family ...... See full summary »
Ryan Rajendra Black,
Seymour Polatkin is a successful, gay Native American poet from Spokane who confronts his past when he returns to his childhood home on the reservation to attend the funeral of a dear ... See full summary »
Michelle St. John,
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
Irene Bedard and Michelle St. John both have roles in the film. They also co-starred in Disney's Pocahontas, where Bedard voiced Pocahontas and St. John voiced her best friend Nakooma. See more »
There is no way that one bus driver could have driven the same bus continuously from Idaho to Arizona. Federal law would prohibit it. See more »
You know there are some children who aren't really children at all, they're just pillars of flame that burn everything they touch. And there are some children who are just pillars of ash, that fall apart when you touch them... Victor and me, we were children of flame and ash.
See more »
Any similarity to actual persons, living, dead, or indigenous, is purely coincidental. See more »
I have read some of Sherman Alexie's work, although admittedly not "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." I don't want to ruin a movie that I enjoyed so thoroughly by loving the book more. In any case, I think that this film is largely misunderstood. Non-Indian people tend to look at this film as a "coming of age" story about finding Victor finding not only his father, but himself as well. Yes, that's there, but there is so much more. For example: the very real and very sad quality of life on the rez. The ones who are fortunate enough to have a car don't care if it drives in reverse only. The kids watch their parents drinking, and often grow up to drink with them. Alcoholism is a very real disease that affects everyone associated with an alcoholic...and it runs rampant throughout many reservations. Imagine knowing that once you had so much, and now are only allotted a certain patch of a certain number of acres; imagine knowing that more than half of your history was oral tradition and people made you stop speaking your native language. Imagine the elders watching the children grow up to try to be white and fail, and imagine them watching their history slip away with every word or nuance forgotten. Imagine the desperation of a people as a whole and individually to have so much and really have nothing at all. That, I believe, is the underlying theme in Smoke Signals. The title alone is a cryptic message from Alexie: smoke signals were used to communicate across open plains, plains now destroyed and whithered as though a fire raged across them, which it did in the form of the white man. Victor's father died in a fire, perhaps sending his spirit up in the form of a smoke signal to his gods. And Thomas' narration at the beginning is about children born of fire and ash. Watch this movie again and again, and see how so many suffer...
31 of 49 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?