Our second movie was Four Sheets to the Wind written by and directed by Sterlin Harjo; it was featured in Sundance Film Festival. The film is about a young boy named Cufe, and starts with him putting his fathers dead body in a pond as he asked (breaking with Native tradition). The film is about Cufe’s journey away from the reservation. His mother, his sister (Miri) and Francie (his sisters neighbor) have prominent roles in the movie, even though the movie is about Cufe’s relationship with his father. When he moves away from the reservation he goes to his sister in the city. There he meets Francie whom he forms a connection and relationship with. He has never been with a woman before and Francie is the first non-Native that he has spent a lot of time with. He opens up to her about his father, and his relationship with his father. With her we see more of Cufe’s feelings and reality.

I felt that the film was rather slow and a bit disjointed. Although it is another take of modern native american life, I did not feel as if it was promoting very good values and therefore maybe not the best film to show to a high school audience. However, it is a different take on life, and a very real film, displaying complex emotions and leaving things unresolved. The films red flags are not too bad individually however cumulatively we decided it may be too much for high school; there are two sex scenes, suicide, drinking alcohol etc.

How does the depiction of Cufe as someone that wants to leave native culture differ from most depictions/descriptions we have seen? How does this aid in adding to the diversity of the body of work that is representative of native culture?

 

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