Smoke Signals

  • 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.

PRECEDED BY

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)

Genres: Drama, Comedy