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Faced with the murder of three medicine men, Navajo police must find the culprit. That the murders appear to be the work of a Skinwalker, or bad medicine man, complicate and illuminate the detective's work. Written by
Skinwalkers is the first film featuring Native American police officers Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, who are responsible for officiating crime on a Navajo Reservation.
A Skinwalker is a sorcerer or witch that takes animal form, and commits terrible crimes, including murder. Traditionally, Navajos never say the word Skinwalker, for fear that a Skinwalker will take their life. Skinwalkers practice "bad medicine".
In Skinwalkers, a Native American Medicine Man (Healer) is found dead, his body surrounded by animal-like footprints, and his hand lacerated by a human-bone arrow, a traditional weapon of a Skinwalker.
Chee, struggling between his professionalism and traditional beliefs, feels the killer is a Skinwalker. Leaphorn, a city-reared Native American who's beginning to understand his Native roots, has no doubt the killer is a man who is hunting down Healers.
Together, Leaphorn and Chee seek to protect another Healer from the mysterious killer, and they slowly decrypt Navajo evidence that could lead to a ghostkiller or mankiller.
Skinwalkers weaves together thrilling Navajo folklore and art, mesmerizing copper-hued glowing landscapes, meditative musical lines, and harsh Native American reality - poverty, violence, anger, hurt, and an excruciatingly painful elimination of Native American tradition.
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