Why the film is worth your time
Made by Indians about Indians (we can say “Indians” rather than “Native Americans” because they themselves say it that way in the film), Smoke Signals creatively mixes humor from multiple angles (about Indians, about reservations, about how others see Indians, about the history of Indian relations with the USA, etc.) with serious explorations of relationships and family that ring true beyond the reservation. The humor is presented in a matter-of-fact, tongue-in-cheek way that lends it a genuine quality — it doesn’t feel like staged gags (even if some of it is). The relationships feel real, even when the characters are quirky. The filmmaking quality is very good. Running time: 89 min.
Life is different on the Coeur d’Alene Indian reservation — and a fair bit funny. Sometimes, things might seem a little backward, but then maybe it’s not so different after all. There are still fathers and sons and mothers and cousins — we all try to make sense of mixed up family relations and crazy family histories. Victor Joseph and Thomas Builds-the-Fire go on an odyssey into the foreign lands outside the reservation, finding more family history than they had set out for.
Light profanity. One of the main characters becomes an alcoholic and physically abusive (intense, but short and not graphic).
- Director: Chris Eyre
- Screenplay: Sherman Alexie
- Leads: Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal
- Cinematography: Brian Capener
- Info on IMDb
- Reviews on Rottentomatoes (87%)
- Reviews on Metacritic (76 of 100)
- Review by Beyond Hollywood
- Review by Rolling Stone
- Buy Smoke Signals DVD on Amazon.com
- Go to the Netflix page
- Go to the Blockbuster page