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Skins (2002)

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An inspirational tale about the relationship between two Sioux Indian brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.


Chris Eyre


Adrian C. Louis (novel), Jennifer D. Lyne
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Schweig ... Rudy Yellow Lodge
Graham Greene ... Mogie Yellow Lodge
Gary Farmer ... Verdell Weasel Tail
Noah Watts ... Herbie Yellow Lodge
Lois Red Elk ... Aunt Helen
Michelle Thrush ... Stella
Nathaniel Arcand ... Teen Mogie
Chaske Spencer ... Teen Rudy
Joseph American Horse Joseph American Horse ... Panhandler
Wilda Asimont Wilda Asimont ... Neighbor
Dave Bald Eagle ... Old Soldier
Bruce Bennett ... Medical Examiner
Robert A. Bennett Robert A. Bennett ... Officer Comes Running
Gil Birmingham ... Sonny Yellow Lodge
Joe Black Elk Joe Black Elk ... Drill Team Member #1


Rudy Yellow Lodge is an investigator with the police department and witnesses firsthand the painful legacy of Indian existence. Although rampant unemployment, alcoholism and domestic violence are the norm for many reservation inhabitants, Rudy has largely escaped this cycle of despair. His brother Mogie, however, has not. Now faced with the discovery of a bloodied body, a flaming liquor store just off native land that sells millions of cans of beer a year to the native population, and his brother's ongoing self-destruction, Rudy goes on a quest to avenge himself, his family, and his culture and to seek justice. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Other American Heroes.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

14 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Em Busca de Identidade See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,439, 29 September 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$238,987, 15 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


DIRECTOR CAMEO; Eyre plays the back-up officer arriving after Rudy hits his head. See more »


A drunken Mogie attempts to shoot a beer can with his shotgun as Rudy approaches. Near the end of the scene Mogie drops the shotgun and it discharges, hitting the beer can. Rudy picks up the shotgun and breaks open the chamber; there are however no spent shells evident in the shotgun. See more »


Mogie Yellow Lodge: Well, maybe there is one thing you can do for me.
Rudy Yellow Lodge: What?
Mogie Yellow Lodge: Help me blow the nose off George Washington at Rushmore.
See more »


Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »


Written by Johnny Mike, Verdell Primeaux, Robbie Robertson and Marius DeVries
Performed by Robbie Robertson
Courtesy of Capitol Records Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Market
See more »

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User Reviews

Making a noise in this world
30 November 2003 | by sol1218See all my reviews

******SPOILERS****** When he was ten years old Rudy Yellow Lodge, Eric Schweig, was stung by a deadly Trickster Spider that would have killed him if it wasn't for his older brother Mogie, Graham Greene. Who carried him to the hospital where the quick attention of the hospital staff saved Rudy's life. From then on young Rudy looked up to his brother Mogie and also felt that he owed him something to repay him for what he did. But as both brothers grew up Mogie, after coming back from the army in the Vietnam War, became a helpless alcoholic with nothing to look forward to but a government check to buy beer and wine. While Rudy became a policeman on the police department of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where both Rudy and Mogie lived.

The Pine Ridge Reservation is a depressing place,in the Black hills on the South Dakota Nebraska border With unemployment among the American Indians there at a whopping 75% with alcoholism nine times higher and life expectancy some 15 years lower then anywhere else in America. This is where the story about the two brothers, Rudy and Mogie, takes place.

Rudy trying to do what is beyond his authority as a lawman gives him takes the law into his own hands when a friend of his son, Cokie Red Tail, is murdered. Tracking down Cokie's killers one night, while they were drunk, Rudy breaks their kneecaps with a baseball bat as well as later puts them behind bars.

One evening watching TV Rudy sees a news story about a liquor warehouse across the South Dakota border in Nebraska where the Indians of the Pine Ridge Reservation go to buy their booze which is illegal at the reservation. What makes Rudy burn up is when he sees on the TV a reporter interviewing his brother Mogie, who looked very drunk, who was telling him about how he goes there to stock up on his beer. That it was it for Rudy and it was then and there that he made up him mind to torch the place.

Disguising himself Rudy goes down to the warehouse and sets it on fire but later as a policeman when he comes over to make out a report and investigate the arson he finds out that his brother Mogie was sleeping upstairs and was badly burned in the fire that he set. At the hospital Mogie was found out that besides being severely burned he was suffering from a severe liver disease due to the years of heavy drinking and didn't have very long to live.

Rudy it tears secretly tells his brother that he was the one who set the fire that almost killed him. But Mogie, to Rudy's great relief, took it quite mildly telling Rudy if he wanted to do something to show his outrage at what was happening to his people, the American Indians, why not stick something up George Washington nose on Mount Rushmore.All his sounded pretty stupid to Rudy even though what he did as a vigilante was a lot worse.

Later with Mogie looking a lot better Rudy went down to the local hardware store and bought his brother a T-shirt with famous American Indians instead of famous American Presidents on Mount Rushmore knowing that Mogie would get a kick out of it. But when Rudy came back to the hospital room where Mogie was staying he saw his Aunt Helen, Lois Red Elk, and Mogie's son Herbie, Noah Watts, in tears and sadly Rudy knew what happened.

Rudy was depressed not only by Mogie's death and by the guilt that he felt by what he did to Mogie by setting the warehouse on fire where Mogie was sleeping in. But by not repaying is big brother for saving his life when they were little boys.

Rudy saw that there was only one thing that he could do to square things with his brother and that was what Mogie suggested to him just before he died. So one cold and early morning Rudy with a one gallon can of bright red paint drove down to Mount Rushmore and paid Uncle George a visit.

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