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Directed by Chris Eyre

United States, Canada 1998 93 mins.

Director Chris Eyre’s (Cheyenne/Arapaho) monumental first feature—the first commercially-released American feature written, directed, and co-produced by Native Americans—presents two young Native men, stoic Victor (Adam Beach) and nerdy Thomas (Evan Adams), who journey from their Coeur-d’Alene, Idaho, reservation to Arizona to retrieve the ashes of Victor’s long-lost father. The road trip deepens the pair’s tenuous friendship, as they explore their Native identity and confront past traumas with courage and humor. Nimbly shifting between deeply emotional passages and sunny comedy, Eyre’s sure-handed storytelling (screenplay by novelist Sherman Alexie) offers an extraordinary catharsis.—UCLA Film & Television Archive.


Carrying Fire
Canada 2009
Director: Marie Burke
The fire of spiritual wellness and self-knowledge is powerfully shared among individuals and generations in Burke’s (Cree/Dene) striking short film. (DCP)

Read Emanuel Levy’s review of Smoke Signals (5/1/2006)

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.