I came across this film through the suggestion of a friend, although we are in the final days of ETEC521 it really fits with a number of discussions from weeks past. Released in 1969, the same year as the Canadian Government released the White Paper, The Exiles is an American production chronicling the events of one Friday night for group of Native Americans in Los Angeles. After befriending a group of Native Americans in downtown LA, writer Kent Mackenzie broached the subject of a film about their life experiences, asking the group to help write the script, with their own narration, and with them as partners in the film’s production. Mackenzie was attempting to deconstruct the exotic portrayal of “The Other” common in films about Native Americans of the day. While the film today might be considered a narrative fiction, in the context of it’s writing and release it was considered a documentary. A more thorough description of the film’s history and restoration can be read here – I found it to be a fascinating read.
View the trailer here: http://youtu.be/9VepP9Eyfp0
This film was re-released in 2008 by Sherman Alexie, writer of Smoke Signals, and Charles Burnett. The Exiles was on late night television last night although it’s also available for purchase.