Friday, March 20, 2009

Niche Movie Alert: Frozen River

Watched Frozen River with Melissa Leo and Misty Upham last night.  Quirky, depressing subject matter, yet oddly compelling. Two single mothers, one white, one mohawk, get involved in smuggling aliens over the Canadian border through the Mohawk Nation into the United States in order to provide for their kids. The older brother played by Charlie McDermott brought back all my memories of how great older brothers can be.  The depictions of the tight, closed cycle of poverty are bleak, yet the outlaw aspect not only added cash, but adventure and an adrenaline rush to otherwise pretty grim lives. And it made the movie more absorbing - shades of a less cartoonish Thelma and Louise.

Along these lines, if you are feeling like a rainy day and hot chocolate movie with Native American themes, check out Thunderheart with Val Kilmer. Activist and poet John Trudell plays a Leonard Peltier type character.  I came across this on TV one autumn afternoon and ended up watching it pretty much all weekend.  I had seen it previously and just couldn't hook into it at all, but this time I was mesmerized. Perhaps the winter weather put me in the mood for the isolated and remote.

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