Last night I finally watched Four Sheets to the Wind in it's entirety and I wondered why did I wait so long? Last week I was trying to learn an Oklahoma accent and had watched snippets of the film only to be so intrigued that I almost missed my flight to NYC as I was sitting in the airport watching with my headphones on. It was only when I heard the tap-tap-tap on the microphone and the calling of my name to the gate when I realized how involved I had become.
It opened the imagineNATIVE Film Festival in 2007 (where I worked in 2008), it won 'Special Jury Prize' for Tamara Podemski's dramatic portrayal of Mari Smallhill, and 'Best Director' to Sterlin Harjo and 'Best Actor' for Cody Lightning's portrayal of Cufe Smallhill at the 2007 American Indian Movie Awards.
The film starts slow, much like the pace of Oklahoma, where the film is set and shot. Well it does start with the death of the main character, Cufe Smallhill's, father which is seemingly a dramatic start but the pulse of the film is slow. We also meet the family: sister Mari, and mother Cora. Cora explains to Cufe about meeting his father; "Mom was so pissed when we got married. She always wanted me to marry a rich white man. I ran off and married the first poor Indian I could find." The film picks up when Cufe decides to head to Tulsa OK, and leave his reservation behind for a while to visit his big sister.
We follow Cufe and his developing relationship with his sister Mira's neighbour and as he observes how his sister lives in the big city. Tamara Podemski's portrayal of Mira is brilliant. Immediately we are engaged in her world and concerned for her as she has an insolent boyfriend, she drinks with guys who are obnoxious but "always pick up the tab," and steals from her till at her barista day job. Mari is like a top gone out of control that you can't help but watch and wonder what will happen next.
And no, I am not going to spoon feed you the whole movie, but seriously find this movie and watch it. You will not be disappointed. The acting ability and storytelling are so compelling it will leave you wanting to see more from the talented director Sterlin Harjo (which is Barking Water).
by Lisa Charleyboy from Urban Native Girl Stuff