tragic. painful to watch. post-genocide trauma SHOULD hurt to watch. cut adrift from presence, land, history, culture, the staged scenes reinforcing the enacting of a script they didn't author, costumes covering their crowns & coronas, suffocated by the eraser of americana. the film is complicit in the denial of genocide. the jukebox lied. "Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying." - Franz Fanon
Incredible emotional subtext, the interior monologues shows the hollowness of occidental social norms and modern consumption. Beautiful beginning and the mood/tone was like the bowery, you can see and feel the spiritual distance people experienced and the constraints of self when forced to assimilate. great depth and images
I only watched half of this film which does not allow me to make a full assessment. However I can say that the staged documentary style did not work for me at all. This is the polar opposite of a film by someone like Hara. It all feels so constructed and blocked.
Emotionally vibrant account of living under Empire. Lush cinematography and a relaxed pace that lets things play out. I don't get what everyone's deal with the sound is (not the greatest technically but who cares...) A true gem. It has some of my very favorite scenes of people "just hanging out" in any movie I've ever seen.
This isn't a great movie but it's an important one. It's a shame it wasn't given a proper initial release because it would sit nicely next to Cassavettes' early work. The Exiles shows that Natives--shocker--have precisely the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. What holds the film back ultimately are production values, specifically the audio. The dialogue is dubbed very poorly.
How terrible it must be to be an exile in your own land. To look about and know that all this once belonged to you and your people. I've been to the reservations and seen the despair, the desperation and the desolation. To know that my people, my ancestors, my tribe caused this is terrible in a different way. This film captures a moment in time that could be applied to yesterday or tomorrow so little has changed.
In many ways, this film sums up my early 20s. Having this energy that I didn't really know what to do with, I drank. Pretty much every day. The bar scenes in the film brought back bad memories for me, as I was quite miserable on the inside without showing. Always searching for something I couldnt find. I feel the people in this film were like me, trying to find some sort of peace in this world. Very moving film to me
"Filming...took 3 1/2 years, w/ the cast receiving food or alcohol in lieu of pay. Of the 6 actors who appear in the opening scene...3 were jailed before the 2nd shooting session began so never reappear. Others split to dodge the law, were in jail on essential shooting days, or just vanished or died. What's more, Mackenzie lost 2 of his cameramen to the draft." J. Patterson, The Guardian. Fascinating artifact.
One of the few complete Kent Mackenzie films, The Exiles is truly vital for bringing the true lives of Native Americans to the screen a decade before the mainstream tried to. While the subject matter is important, the filmmaking itself is a bit amateurish, if not deliberately simplistic. The subtle camera work is effective, but the voice dubbing is entirely distracting.
A refreshing, cliche-free focus on Native Americans in contemporary society. The neon-kissed black and white cinematography produces a buzz we often associate with L.A. noir and the documentary-like structure adds a sense of authenticity to the environments and characters.
Amazing as a historical document, but the filmmaking is sub-par to say the least. There is an artistic heart drumming underneath the wooden performances and atrocious dubbing. And that's what makes the movie watchable beyond the location shots: the melancholy immigrant longing, the alienation of a lost generation, the emptiness of lost time. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but interesting nonetheless.