Trudell | Chicago Reader


An adoring portrait of John Trudell, the Sioux firebrand who became the voice of the American Indian Movement in the 70s. This documentary by Heather Rae splits cleanly into two parts: the first chronicles Trudell's radical activism, which came to a dramatic halt after his wife and three children were killed in an arson fire in February 1979, and the second celebrates his subsequent, much less dangerous career as a spoken-word artist, including his albums with the brilliant Kiowa rock guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. The fire that killed Trudell's family was set shortly after he burned an American flag on the steps of FBI headquarters in Washington, but because the case was never solved, Rae can only flirt with the disturbing thesis that his political enemies shut him down (even if they couldn't quite shut him up). With appearances by Robert Redford, Wilma Mankiller, Jackson Browne, Gary Farmer, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, and Sam Shepard. 75 min.

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