Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Year Of" movie TODAY at the Funk Heritage Center

If you're looking for a film to review for our "Year Of" contest, and you have a few free hours this afternoon, I encourage you to head over to the Funk Heritage Center at 2 pm today. The Year of North American Indigenous Peoples will be showing the 1998 film "Smoke Signals," directed by Chris Eyre and based on the short stories of Sherman Alexie. This movie has won several awards, including Best Film at the 1998 American Indian Film Festival, Best Debut Performance at the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Filmmaker's Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival.

"Smoke Signals" is the story of two young residents of the Coeur D'Alene Indian Reservation in Plummer, Idaho. Thomas Builds-the-Fire is an eccentric youth who reveres a man named Arnold Joseph. Joseph rescued the infant Thomas from the house fire that killed his parents, and Thomas considers him a hero. Arnold's son Victor, however, remembers his father as a violent alcoholic and is annoyed by Thomas's hero-worship.

When Arnold dies in Phoenix, Arizona, Thomas and Victor take a cross-country road trip to retrieve his ashes and belongings. The trip will change forever the way the two boys view Arnold, each other and themselves.

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times describes Smoke Signals as, "a warm film of friendship and reconciliation, and whenever it refers to historic injustices or contemporary issues in Native American culture, it does so with wry, glancing humor. Smoke Signals is indeed poignant, but above all it's pretty funny."

Remember, all you have to do is write a one- or two-paragraph review of this film (or any other book or movie in the "Year Of" collection) and submit it to Karen Preslock at, and you could win a Nintendo Wii! Time is running out for this contest. Don't miss your chance!

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