Four Sheets to the Wind was the first feature film directed by Sterlin Harjo, and was featured at Sundance. Cufe’s father dies in the beginning of the film, and he buries him in a local pond according to his father’s last wish. However, this wish breaks with Native traditions, and Cufe subsequently leaves the reservation and heads to the city of Tulsa. In this coming of age film, Cufe develops a new relationship with Francie (his love interest) and a new understanding of himself.
Ultimately, we did not decide to use this film for the Sherman program as it was a bit slow and we wanted to ensure that the audience was engaged. I think the film, however, is very poignant and I liked that it used Harjo’s hometown.Four sheets to the wind is one of the few films written, directed by, and starring Native Americans.
What do you believe Cufe’s desire to leave the reservation to go to the city reflects upon ideas of native culture? Do you think his choice is empowering or does it portray res life as something detrimental Natives are bound to?