FRAMELINE: DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST

Drunktown’s Finest

Early in Drunktown’s Finest, a wise spiritual leader states: “What we look for and what we get aren’t always the same thing.” This truth is borne out in the lives of three young Native Americans living on a New Mexico Navajo reservation—a place from which all three are trying to escape. Father-to-be Sick Boy (Jeremiah Bitsui, Natural Born Killers, Victor in Breaking Bad) is about to join the Army, which offers the security of steady paychecks and an escape from his responsibilities—if he can manage to stay out of trouble for the next few days. Transracially adopted Nizhoni (Morningstar Angeline Wilson) is about to leave for college when her dreams compel her to search for her biological Native American parents. Felixia, (Carmen Moore in an impressive debut) a two-spirit transwoman who is very proud of her culture and traditions, hopes to qualify as a pinup for the “Women of the Navajo” calendar. These three lives soon intersect with surprising results.

Jeremiah Bitsui’s warrior-like Sick Boy is a standout performance, and the use of Native American non-actors for certain roles adds sincere authenticity. With an arresting score by Mark Orton (Nebraska), sumptuous scenic cinematography, and deft direction by Sydney Freeland, Drunktown’s Finest is a refreshingly unique view of an often-overlooked culture—a beautiful coming-of-age tale that is genuine, poignant, and touching.

USA, 2014, 90 min.
Director: Sydney Freeland

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Untitled

 

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