Smoke Signals Review

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The movie began with the incident of the Thomas’ parents’ death. It was the fourth of July and his parents had a party and everyone was either drunk of asleep. Victor’s father Arnold walked around drunk with a sparkler and threw it in the kitchen. Everything quickly caught on fire and Thomas was thrown out the window where he was caught by Arnold. It quickly fast forwards to where Thomas had grown up to be a skinny, story-telling nerd and Victor a buff Indian. Constant flashbacks of Victor’s childhood are shown during the movie. Victor’s father was an angry drunk and would always beat him and his mother. One day, his mother decided to sober up for him and that was also the same time his father left. Victor then found out that his father had passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, thus began his journey with Thomas and the discovery of why his father really left. On his journey, he met a trailer mate of his dad’s named Suzy, who told him stories that his dad had told her about him. She revealed to him about the innocent mistake his father had made by killing Thomas’ parents in the fire. She also encouraged him to stop being stubborn and try to find something valuable in his father’s trailer. Throughout their journey, Thomas and Victor’s relation hadn’t improved until they got into a car accident in which the white man blames them for the incident. Victor was also charged with assault after the accident, but it was dropped because there wasn’t much of a case. In the end, he found the real reason to why his father left and is thankful for Thomas.

The film portrays the legacy of white and Native American interactions as limited. Back then, I would find this portrayal as accurate, but in our modern world, I don’t believe the interaction is the same. In the film, the two Indians met a white girl named Cathy from Mississippi. She had told them she “was an alternate on the 1980 Olympics team”. They held a nice, civil conversation until Victor confronted her position on the...
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