There is a continually growing, vibrant presence of Indigenous independent films that are often made by and star Indigenous people telling their own stories, and these stories are receiving critical acclaim. Native people across the world are participating in this movement that raises the voices and visibility of Indigenous people.
After the film’s opening fire aftermath scene, viewers are introduced more thoroughly to Arnold Joseph, who cut his hair in mourning after the fire and eventually disappeared, and to Thomas and Victor as young men: “Me and Victor? We were children born of flame and ash,” Thomas narrates. Scenes of reservation life also unfold with a quiet humor, punctuated by music: parallel scenes of Victor eating frybread with his mother, Arlene (Tantoo Cardinal, Metis), and Thomas eating dinner with his grandmother (Monique Mojica, Kuna and Rappahannock); flashback scenes of Victor and Thomas as kids and of Victor with Arnold before he disappeared; the ubiquitous rez traffic and weather reporter, Lester Falls Apart; and two women driving a car in reverse down a paved rez road.