Powwow Highway

The unusual thing about this pleasant (if at times formulaic) shaggy-dog road movie set in Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, and environs is that it's all about contemporary Cheyenne Indians. The story of a huge traditionalist Cheyenne named Philbert (Gary Farmer) and his wreck of a car (purchased with pot), which he regards as his “pony,” the movie follows the wayward adventures that ensue when Philbert's political friend Buddy (A Martinez) gets Philbert to drive him from Montana's Lame Deer reservation to Santa Fe to get his sister out of jail. There's more here in character and incident than in plot per se, but the cross-sectional examination of Cheyenne life and attitudes, attractive scenery, and a couple of good laughs should keep everybody interested. Directed by Jonathan Wacks from a script by Janet Heaney and Jean Stawarz based on David Seals's book; with Amanda Wyss and Joanelle Romero.

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