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I am deeply in love with this film, and each time I watch it I love it even more. I truly look forward to seeing more from its writer/director, Randy Redroad. I fear that, living outside of America, however, I may have trouble finding his work... but I hope this will not be the case!
From beginning to end, "The Doe Boy" exudes a powerful, yet non-sensationalistic and understated spirituality that many films would do well to emulate.
The story concerns Hunter, a mixed-blooded Cherokee/White young man with haemophilia ("a white man's disease"), and his struggle for identity and for a sense of power over his life. Throughout the film he struggles with a difficult relationship with his father, made worse by Hunter's inability to play sports, to help his father work on his car, or to, as his name suggests, hunt (which is also a favourite pastime of his father). Along the way his grandfather, a full-blood Cherokee, gently assists him by telling him tales of their history and explaining his own way of viewing the world.
Hunter's father manages to persuade Hunter's overprotective mother to allow him to take Hunter deer hunting and Hunter, thinking he sees a buck, instead commits the social faux pas of killing a female deer, earning him the nickname of "Doe Boy". Giving away further details may lessen the experience of the first viewing, so I will not describe the other major plot developments that take place in this film, except to say that Hunter is left even more alone and powerless in this world, and calls upon the strength and wisdom of his grandfather to guide him to find the inner strength, courage and self-reliance to take the hand life has dealt him, and to become a true warrior and Cherokee brave.
I am still unclear as to the implications of the ending, however that does not make me love this film any less; perhaps the film maker intended to leave the ending somewhat open, given the nature of the events and circumstances that preceded it.
Without a doubt, this film - as beautiful, deep and soulful as the warpainted eyes of James Duval as the Cherokee brave of some of the final scenes of the film - is a must-see for any fan of James Duval or of modern, Native American-themed cinema. As a fan of both, I would like to thank both Mr Redroad and all the people who participated in the making of this film, for making available something so beautiful and touching, for the world to experience. I believe that James Duval may well be remembered for the role of Hunter Kirk for the rest of his career. This is a truly beautiful film, which I would very, very highly recommend.
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