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Talk about movies that slip under the radar! Almost nobody heard about The Doe Boy and there really isn't a good - or even acceptable reason.
Slowly paced this very gentle film packs an emotional wallop few films with far bigger budgets, more stars and loftier reaching stories could hope to achieve. Doe Boy is about Hunter - a boy with an American Indian mother and white father. Hunter is a hemophiliac, a disease seemingly unknown to Native Americans and which separates him further, forever making him feel like an outsider. His macho father (an absolutely terrific performance by Kevin Anderson) loves him, but is ever let down by the boy's inability to be more physically active because of his disease.
As the film traces Hunter's story from childhood through his late teens, we see the difficulty of the relationship between he and his father strained to the limits as well as the inability of his mother to let him go and become the man her son needs to be.
James Duval gives a performance that is positively incandescent; it is an amazing achievement. With relatively little dialogue, it is through facial features and body language that he fills Hunter with a sense of defiance and a desperate need for acceptance. We witness the painful struggle he endures of always being different, in not one, but numerous ways. Acceptance and understanding do not come easy, but with the aid of his wise grandfather, a beautiful girl, and coming to grips with his heritage and and the forces of nature, Hunter's journey is one that everyone should be able to relate to. It is a brilliant, moving performance.
In every way this quiet, little movie is about as perfect as indie film can be. A joy to watch.
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