The Exiles

(1961, USA, 72 min., dir. Kent Mackenzie) | 35 mm
A lush black-and-white cinéma vérité film chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles, circa 1955. Based entirely on interviews with the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of exiles — transplants from Southwest reservations — as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance. All of the actors, some of whom were recruited on the spur of the moment during the shooting, play themselves in the film.bCritics comment: “The Exiles achieves the same kind of visual poetry found in neorealist classics such as The Bicycle Thief (Sarah Boslaugh, Playback) ... “Mackenzie's magnificent, long-undistributed, unclassifiable first feature stands as a rare consideration of the inner and outer lives of American Indians in a big American city (Wesley Morris, Boston Globe).

The Exiles is part of a four-film series presented by the Eiteljorg Museum and IMA, in relation to the IMA’s Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection, and the Eiteljorg’s We Are Here! Native Expression in the 21st Century exhibition. The films examine both past portrayals of Native Americans in the context of more modern, urban perspectives on Native American life and self-images.

This program is eligible for PGP (Professional Growth Plan) points. Attend the event and afterward, e-mail to request a PGP points certificate.

Preview the Film

The Exiles Indianapolis Museum of Art 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN