6.9/10
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15 user 8 critic

The Business of Fancydancing (2002)

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Evan Adams ...
Seymour Polatkin
...
Agnes Roth
Gene Tagaban ...
Aristotle Joseph
Swil Kanim ...
Mouse
Rebecca Carroll ...
The Interviewer
...
Teresa
...
Mr. Williams
Kevin Phillip ...
Steven
...
Kim
Arthur Tulee ...
Junior One
Jim Boyd ...
Junior Two
Jennifer Elizabeth Kreisberg ...
Salmon Girl (as Jennifer Kreisberg)
Ron Otis ...
White Motorist
...
Tavern Father
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Storyline

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 friend. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes going home is the hardest journey of all.

Genres:

Drama | Music

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Release Date:

14 January 2002 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,709 (USA) (10 May 2002)

Gross:

$174,682 (USA) (4 October 2002)
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Seymour Polatkin: God, how did we make frybread sacred? This stuff is so bad for us. Indians are too fat, you know?
Agnes Roth: Yeah but it's so good.
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Crazy Credits

A film by at least 62 people, Indigenous and otherwise. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Overblown melodrama
7 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm probably not in the right demographic for this movie. Although I am gay, I am not an American Indian, and this movie depends heavily on an appreciation of their culture, their history and (if this movie is at all authentic) their overwhelming love of melodrama.

Not a single word in the very stilted and contrived screenplay sounded to me like an actual human being talking, but like a person reading a proclamation about something very profound. The many poetry readings, funeral speeches, etc - even ordinary conversations between lovers and friends - sound so forced and pretentious that they're nearly unbearable. That's probably because the movie was written by a poet about himself. When the same poet also directs the movie, the combination practically guarantees a mediocre result.

Very, very few successful movies are written and directed by people whose subject is their own lives and whose primary interest is in poetry rather than in movie-making. In fact, I can't think of a single one.

If Sherman Alexie had allowed someone else to write and direct his story, it might have worked very well, because it's not an uninteresting story - but this movie doesn't work at all, not for me. It's too unnatural, and Native Americans ought to be MORE natural than the rest of us, not less.

If you have a soft spot for overblown melodrama, stilted dialog, declamatory acting and/or Native Americans, then The Business of Fancydancing may be just right for you. But if you're looking for a good movie, keep looking.


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