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CRITICS PICK. Enthralling and breathtakingly gorgeous, it s almost astonishing that this find languished in the archives for so long --Sara Cardace, New York Magazine
Enthralling and breathtakingly gorgeous! --New York Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
The movie adequately opens with numerous beautiful, historical photos - mostly portraits of Native Americans throughout time --, and right away we are told that "white men sent Indians to reservations, but some went to the city," and we immediately meet one of the several characters that we'll see in the next 72 minutes. We follow them in what turns out to be great part of a day in their lives, beginning when pregnant Yvonne arrives home one afternoon, where she finds several mostly unemployed men, bored as they could possible be, wasting time in nonsense. From then on, we follow them into their night rituals. The women mostly stay home or go to the movies; the men, however, have or apparently have all the fun. They go gambling, partying, drinking, getting high, and skirt-chasing. They do this until the sun rises, and repeat this destructive cycle every day.
"The Exiles" is an unpretentious, sincere film, done with the heart, and the director apparently allowed the actors - mostly Native Americans -- to be themselves and play their culture. This exceptional movie depicts a well-known, sad part of our society, with defeated human beings, with defeated minds, as the main characters. It doesn't matter where the plot takes place - the city or the reservation --, the stories are always the same.Read more ›
The period is further brought to life via some of the accompanying featurettes. There are documentary studies of Bunker Hill and Angels Flight (the funicular railway) that reveal the grandeur that had fallen into decay by 1958. There are also some native American featurettes.
The two-disc set has something for everyone, spanning elements of history, architecture, sociology, and psychology. The film is no musty lecture, but a living document that brings the past back to life. The DVD's transfer and supplemental features are superb.
Beautifully photographed in black and white with striking night-time street scenes, the original Angels Flight funicular, the old houses on Bunker Hill and the tunnel under it. Mackenzie's camera captures wonderful unscripted details in the crowded bar scenes, and the performances of his nonprofessional cast seem natural and spontaneous. Originally made as a student film at USC, "The Exiles" has stood up remarkably well for its 50 years and rewards viewers with a multi-layered portrayal of lives lived in a moment of history. Two-disc set with extensive supporting materials.
If you've had enough of screenplay-guru-influenced, pre-digested American film, buy or rent this movie today!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of our "repeat" visiting professors likes to use this for his class, so it's a welcome addition to our video library.Published 4 months ago by Nancy Fox
I chose this movie to be a 4.0/5.0 rating scale based on the different ways the director, Kent Mackenzie, provided for his characters. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jesus Santos
As Sherman Alexie stated in the commentary, the director had to have known about and been very close to Indins to tell this story the way he did. Read morePublished 24 months ago by G
I was very interested in seeing this movie as I'm a product of the Native American LA experience of the 1950's. When it arrived I wasted not time in putting it into my player. Read morePublished on February 6, 2012 by D. Pierce