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Jan 27, 2004


Sometimes quite unexpectedly you come across a brilliant movie, like a shard of diamond in the ashes. Skins, the sophomore low budget indie from director Chris Eyre is just that. I didn't know a thing about Chris Eyre nor anything about the writer of the novel, Adrian.C.Louis, after watching this movie I have decided I am going to find more about the works of these two people.

Before Christopher Columbus came to America in late 1400s, there were 100 million Indians in North and South America combined. At the beginning of twentieth century their size had dimnished to a small group of 3 million, thanks to all the massacres that paved the way for the establishment of the brave New world! Skins tell the story of these 'natives' - actually two Sioux Indian brothers in a very current setting of Pine Ridge Indian reservation, South Dakota,one of the poorest counties in US which could put any third world country to shame.

Rudy the younger brother is a cop, where Mogi the elder one is an incurable alcholic like most of the other Indians at Pine Ridge. The film is an eye-opener about the people of the land, now reduced to nothing, battling the grim and horrible conditions charecteristic of present day Indian reserves. Alcoholism is a major killer of the people with about 75% of all deaths attributed to it, Graham Greene as Mogi has given a heart rendering yet humorous portrayal as an alchoholic Indian. Eric Schweig as Rudy and all the other actors have given true to life performances. This movie could be called a true life 'reverse western', it is time Indians got their due. A masterpiece but don't expect horse chases, burning teepes or indian men in colorful war paints, this is the otherside of US of A, as close as you can get it. Way to go Chris Eyre!