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Parents' Guide to

Wild Indian

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Powerful, violent drama about Native American identity.

Movie NR 2021 87 minutes
Wild Indian Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.'s feature debut may leave viewers feeling a little displaced by its disquieting turn of events, but the movie's dedication to The Way Things Are is both powerful and lasting. Wild Indian challenges any assumptions viewers might make about how the two boys in the 1980s sequence will turn out; many may expect that it will turn out like all those movies about one brother/friend who becomes a cop and the other who becomes a criminal. But writer-director Corbine, who comes from an Ojibwe background himself, surprises with his storytelling choices.

This allows viewers to imagine tons of unspoken backstory. Could Teddo have been so shattered and disillusioned by the events of that day that he just gave up? Is Makwa/Michael's transformation into a California mover and shaker all an attempt to run from his past? Two-thirds of the way through the movie, things take an even more drastic turn, and it may feel unfair. But if you resist, you may miss the point of Wild Indian: to embrace the idea that, yes, things are sometimes unfair. Though it ultimately has some debut-feature drawbacks, this is still a potent story of identity and perception that's worth seeing.

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