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Smoke Signals

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Canada, United States · 1998
Rated PG-13 · 1h 29m
Director Chris Eyre
Starring Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer
Genre Drama, Comedy

Thomas and Victor, two young Native American men, travel from Idaho to Arizona to collect Victor's father's remains. Arnold, Victor's father, saved Thomas from a fire as a baby and left his own family shortly afterward. Victor and Thomas agree on little when they set out, but they have a lot to learn about Arnold's life--and about each other.

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TV Guide Magazine by

Alexie, who adapted his own novel, bears responsibility for the movie's ham-fisted treatment of racial-identity issues, its tiresome jokes and the dated, throbbing-guitar soundtrack.


Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

The cast is uniformly excellent in their roles, and Eyre's persistent use of long, trailing shots reinforces the story's elegiac tone.


Washington Post by Michael O'Sullivan

A well-crafted story with a unique voice. But its literary gifts are outweighed by its pictorial prosaicness. Dimming the screen in every shot is the unmistakable shadow of the page.


Time by Richard Schickel

A shrewd portrait, sly, casual yet palpably authentic, of the principal ways members of any minority try to respond to an uncomprehending world. [29 Jun 1998, p. 69]


Washington Post by Stephen Hunter

And that's the surprise of the movie, beyond even the humor and humanity of its inside look at contemporary American Indian culture. It's really the oldest and most primal story forms, the one about the old man and the boy.

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