War Party

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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Sonny (Wirth) leads a mundane life on a Montana reservation, and only reluctantly agrees to participate in a local re-enactment of the battle which killed his Indian ancestors. The gala occasion brings out Cavalry uniforms and racial prejudice; there are real-life killings on both sides, prompting Sonny, his best friend (Dillon) and a couple of pals to take to the hills. What starts out promisingly enough as a firmly deglamorised depiction of reservation life declines into a routine chase thriller. Roddam shifts fluently between depictions of the original conflict and modern-day tensions, but there's a stagy atmosphere to the historic sequences which weakens their dramatic impact. The film's political will is more forcefully evident in exchanges between the tribal council leader and his wife as they discuss the circumstances leading to Sonny's defiant gesture. Their opportunity to air long-standing grievances is all too brief; but at least the film commendably refuses to offer an easy, upbeat resolution.

Release details

Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Franc Roddam
Screenwriter: Spencer Eastman
Cast: Billy Wirth
Kevin Dillon
Tim Sampson
Jimmie Ray Weeks
M Emmet Walsh
Kevyn Major Howard
Jerry Hardin
Tantoo Cardinal
Bill McKinney
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