Thunderheart

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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Ray Levoi (Kilmer), an FBI agent of Indian blood, is sent to a South Dakota reservation when an Oglala Sioux is found face down in the dust. While his cynical superior (Shepard) leads the hunt for the killer, Levoi - complete with gum, gun and shades - clings to power and the trappings of white privilege. Predictably enough, professional conflicts lead to personal growth and cultural reawakening: as Levoi uncovers evidence of conspiracy and environmental abuse, his sense of betrayal reflects on larger outrages perpetrated against Native Americans. Apted and cinematographer Roger Deakins focus unblinkingly on the poverty endemic to the reservation. This directness, however, contrasts with an over-complicated script by John Fusco, who sets the action in the aftermath of the 1975 battle at Wounded Knee and the controversial arrest of American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier, accused of killing two FBI agents. But while appreciation may be enhanced by previous knowledge of these events, the story boasts integrity and serves as a forceful indictment of on-going injustice.

Release details

Duration: 119 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Apted
Screenwriter: John Fusco
Cast: Val Kilmer
Sam Shepard
Graham Greene
Fred Ward
Fred Dalton Thompson
Sheila Tousey
Chief Ted Thin Elk
John Trudell
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