Makwa (Michael Greyeyes) is what you’d call a troubled young man. He frequently gets into trouble at school and argues with his father at any given opportunity. Then one day while out with his friends, he has an overwhelming urge to use his gun and he kills one of the friends with a rifle.
The only witness to this is Ted-O (Chaske Spencer) and seeing as Makwa has always been the more dominant of the pair, they bury the body and go about their lives promising to never speak of what happened again.
Thirty years later, Makwa is now known as Michael and he’s a successful business owner with a beautiful wife, (Kate Bosworth) and child with another soon on the way. However, it seems that although Michael’s life has changed, there’s a raging guilt which wants to bubble to the surface.
Ted-O has taken a different path in life and has just come out of prison. He’s moved back in with his sister and his niece and is looking forward to moving on with life. He has no regrets other than the tattoos on his face and he wants to make the best of what he has. However, the secret that he was forced to bury with Makwa has come to a head when he decides to track him down. What follows after their meeting changes both of their lives and reveals their true colours.
Wild Indian is the directorial feature debut of writer/director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. and shows a very promising start as it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Corbine Jr.’s story could be billed as Native American Psycho as it shows a decline in a man’s character, not only through his loss of identity and soul, but through the denouncement of his heritage.
However, Greyeyes manages to bring a certain amount of pity to a man who on the surface seems so despicable. Although the film rarely leaves his side, Greyeyes’ performance shows a man who’s barely holding it together.
Some may dislike following a protagonist who is so obviously unlikeable and the ending may not come to any satisfying conclusion. Saying that though, Wild Indian is a good character study which addresses how some indigenous people have to make sacrifices to survive in the world.
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