Detroit Film Theatre


Friday, September 19, 2008

7:00 PM Detroit Film Theatre

  • Fees Apply
  • Film

(USA/1961/Directed by Kent Mackenzie)


The Exiles chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in Los Angeles. Based on real-life experiences of the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of exiles — transplants from Southwest reservations — as they flirt, drink, party, fight and dance. Director Mackenzie first conceived of The Exiles while a student at the University of Southern California in 1956. The following year, he began to hang around with young Indians in downtown L.A., making friends and earning their confidence until they finally agreed to re-enact scenes from their lives for this picture. All of the actors, some of whom were recruited on the spur of the moment during the shooting, play themselves in this haunting cinematic tapestry, which is often compared to the pioneering early works of John Cassavettes. Premiering to acclaim at the Venice Film Festival in 1961, The Exiles tragically never found American commercial distribution — until now. (73 min.)

“A classic American story of aspiration and tragedy. Beautiful and devastating.” -Armond White, New York Press