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The movie, however, provides only a partial view of the book it's based on by Indian writer, Adrian Louis. His novel, "Skins," has enough material for a 10-part miniseries. It immerses the reader in the deeper complexities of its subject matter, exploring the dimensions of its characters more thoroughly (and with darker humor) and conveying a great deal more about life on the reservation, with its compelling mix of Indian and white cultures and the resulting ambiguities, competing world views, and conflicted values. It is significant that Iktomi, the trickster spirit and shape-shifter, is a central theme in both novel and film, for appearance and reality, wisdom and stupidity, pride and shame, love and rage are all in a continuing dance for dominance.
Rudy, the Indian cop, portrays these confusing conflicts beautifully, representing both the law in his tribal police uniform and vigilante justice in his blackface and pantyhose mask. The author's book explores other dimensions of Rudy's confusion by letting us learn more about his relationships with women. In the novel he is married and estranged from his wife, and we follow the rocky ups and downs of his growing attraction to his cousin's wife, Stella, while he carries on with other men's wives as well.Read more ›
The story is about two brothers in their late forties. One is a cop and the other is a burnt-out alcoholic who sometimes thinks he's still in Vietnam. Flashbacks show their abusive childhood and their dependence on one another. The storyline shows us how Eric Schweig, cast as the cop brother, helps his brother over and over again. Graham Greene is cast as the alcoholic and even though we see him mostly drunk and creating chaos for everyone, get to know him as a real person with hopes and dreams and missteps along the way.
We learn about life on the reservation and the history of the massacre at Wounded Knee. And we also learn why the Mt. Rushmore carving of the four American presidents is so upsetting to the Indians who see rocks as sacred. As the story moves along, we see the cop brother become a vigilante and solve a murder investigation. Later, he sets a liquor store on fire. When his brother is burned in the fire, the story comes to a pivotal point and we get a glimpse of the unwavering love of the brothers for each other and the sense of family in the entire community.
This is a thoughtful movie that's a bit uncomfortable to watch. It left me sad and pensive. And yet it taught me something too. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this so much I had to buy it. Eric Scweig is awesome, as are Greene, Arcand & Watts. I've watched it at least 10 times because I love the story of this policeman's personal... Read morePublished 27 days ago by toastedpeanut
Well, it's not even close to what I expected but I have to say that It's a good movie in some way.
There are some moments that it tries to tell about the indian ritual which... Read more
Awesome movie. Enjoying it over and over again. Can't get enough.Published 3 months ago by Darrin Ruhe
Great movie about the struggles of native americans on the rez , Graham Greene is great ! Must see !Published 3 months ago by chris whiteside
I've seen 'Skins' & love it dearly. Starring Eric Shweig as Rudy Yellow Lodge, Co-starring Graham Greene as his older brother, Mogie Yellow Lodge, who is suffering terribly with... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Saoirse Smith