With a rare film that only a literate filmmaker could create, Heather Rae demonstrates sophisticated craft and builds an Indigenous aesthetic essential to the intellectual exploration of the power and fragility of an Indigenous icon, John Trudell. From the first frames, Rae constructs an impressionistic biopic, weaving images, thought, music, and human energy into cinematic power.

With Trudell’s lifeline as the narrative thread, viewers journey in and out of modern Indian history and politics, exploring the earth-infused philosophy and motivations of Trudell’s radical acts and thought, as well as reliving the loss and heartache that prompted his activism to evolve abruptly into artistic expression. Complementing Rae’s stunning images are Trudell’s poetic musings, set to electric guitars and drumbeats echoing from the earth and blurring lines between the conscious and the unconscious.

John Trudell’s cogent words deconstruct an all-too-familiar world, and he prepares his listeners often by saying, „If I say anything you don’t agree with, let’s just leave it at that, that we don’t agree.“ With this in mind, Rae gently sculpts the space between all things John Trudell and the rest of us, slowly and deliberately revealing the soul of a rare man who is one of the most influential Native activists of our times.— Bird Runningwater



Country of Production

Year of Production

Digi Beta Pal

54 / 75 min

Heather Rae

Appaloosa Pictures

Original Language

Festivals / Awards

Sundance 2005
Silverdocs 2005
Münchner Filmfest 2005
Message Sticks Festival Sydney 2005