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July 12, 2008

The Exiles

Exiles Director Brent MacKenzie’s black-and-white documentary/narrative genre blender about urbanized Native Americans in 1961 Los Angeles is a cold glass of cinematic water drawn from the same well as Joseph Strick’s "The Savage Eye" (1960). MacKenzie uses editorial voice-over narration to elaborate on his reckless characters’ existential lifestyle during a night of carousing amid LA’s impoverished Bunker Hill neighborhood where the steeply inclined "Angel’s Flight" trolley car delivered passengers into the thick of its disenfranchised community. Bold in its visionary attempt to capture an essence of American Indian reality that is evermore significant today for its strangled condemnation of America’s betrayal of a people it murdered and displaced before such war crimes became articulated in our common vernacular, "The Exiles" is a one-of-a-kind film.

Not Rated, 72 mins. (A) (Five Stars)

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