Smoke Signals by Sherman Alexie

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Smoke Signals by Sherman Alexie Smoke Signals is a movie written by Sherman Alexie and directed by Chris Eyre that deals with many social issues in modern Native American cultures. The film follows the journey of two Coeur d’Alene Indians, Victor and Thomas, as they travel from their reservation in Oregon to Phoenix, AZ in order to gather the personal artifacts of Victor’s father who has recently died. Along the way, Thomas helps Victor to understand and forgive his father, who left the family when Victor was a young boy. Victor’s father, Arnold Joseph, saved both of the boys from a fire that he inadvertently caused on the 4th of July when the boys were mere babies. Although the boys were saved, Thomas’s parents both died in the blaze. Since then, Arnold Joseph has carried the guilt of what he has done silently, using alcohol to try and bury the memory. As the years progress Arnold Joseph begins abusing his family, which finally leads to his wife telling him that there will be no more drinking after she realizes what it is doing to their son. Arnold Joseph once again runs from the situation, much like he did the night of the fire, unable to handle the consequences of his actions. Arnold flees to Phoenix, AZ where he carries out the rest of his days, never speaking to his family again, but silently wishing that he could go back home. He dies before overcoming his feelings of guilt, and upon hearing of his death Victor decides to go to Phoenix to retrieve his fathers personal artifacts. Victor has no money with which to fund his trip south, however his friend Thomas offers him enough money to make the journey provided that Victor brings him along. Together, they set out on a bus to Phoenix, and along the way, with the help of... ... middle of paper ... ...ld. On the surface of the movie, we see two young Indian men, traveling south together on a journey that will lead to the healing of their friendship, as well as one of them coming to terms with his past. But deeper in the movie, we are left to find our own story, if we so choose; one that will vary from person to person if you care to ask. For me I found that to this day, the Native Americans still lead a rough life due to what the white man has done to them in the past. However, instead of buckling under the pressure of centuries, much of their culture still struggles and lives on inside each successive generation. I would recommend this movie to anyone, and I'm sure that I will end up sending it to my family back home. Not only would I recommend watching the movie, but I would urge all to see beneath the surface story and find the hidden messages underneath.
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