In Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr´s (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa) debut feature Wild Indian, Michael Greyeyes (Plains Cree from the Muskeg Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan) and Chaske Spencer (Fort Peck Tribe with Lakota, Nez Perce, Cherokee and Creek heritage) play Michael and Ted-O, two childhood friends unable to overcome an event from their past. Michael grows into a successful businessman with an ostensibly great life – an expensive, minimalist house in California and a beautiful wife (Kate Bosworth) and child - but he is haunted by both the event and the trauma that lives on inside him. It is Corbine Jr´s exploration of the many facets of that trauma - which seep out and beyond the film´s two ostensible timelines (first, the 1980s, when both boys are young, and then the present day) and reverberate through both men - that gives the film its force. “[H]aunting is one way in which abusive systems of power make themselves known and their impacts felt in everyday life, especially when they are supposedly over and done with”, cites indigenous poet Billy-Ray Belcourt in his text "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open", which explores the breaking-apart effects of violent settler colonialism on indigenous bodies and identities. And while the film can be read on one level as a complex psychological thriller – a man with psychotic tendencies commits a series of murders – it can also be seen more broadly as a powerful consideration of intergenerational trauma(s) engendered by historic violence.
Review by: Chloë Roddick
Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. Thomas Mahoney, Eric Tavitian
Ed Yonaitis, Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.
Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.
Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Jesse Eisenberg, Kate Bosworth, Phoenix Wilson, Julian Gopal