Phil Konstantin's Reviews of "Skins."

Below is a picture of the cover of my book
"This Day in North American Indian History"
Click on the cover to order a copy

Click here to order a copy of my book
in the USA.

In the U.K. or In Germany or In France or In Canada

Looking for a good book, usually at a discount?
Purchasing a book through this link helps support my site. Click on the appropriate line below:

American Indian History Books

American Indian Biography Books

American Indian Studies Books

American Indian Literature Books

Native Peoples of Canada Books

American Indian Cookbooks

"Native Healing" Books

American Indian Music


I wrote this review in September 2003.

This month's movie review is of "Skins."

The basic listing on (Internet Movie Database) is:
Directed by Chris Eyre, Writing credits: Adrian C. Louis (novel), Jennifer D. Lyne .
Tagline: The Other American Heroes.
Plot Outline: An inspirational tale about the relationship between two Sioux Indian brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

First, you must remember that this is fiction. That being said, the movie shot on the Pine Ridge reservation. Many locals had parts in the movie. Joe RedCloud, one of the people whose e-mails I post here, was an extra in Skins. To quote him: "I'm in there as "background". I'm the dude with the long hair sitting in Bat's when the guys have their little run-in with the cop." David Bald Eagle (see pictures of us & his place starting on this page ) plays the man who calls out the names of the soldiers at the funeral.

plays Mogie Yellow Lodge. Eric Schweig plays his brother Rudy, who is a local sheriff. Greene does a very good job with Mogie. Mogie is an alcoholic. In an interview Greene said, "Before the healing can take place, the poison must be exposed." He was glad to have a "contemporary" role. Regarding one of his roles as an 1800s Indian when the director said for him to stand and look stoic, Greene said: "I'll stand and look stoic, if you sit and look stupid."

The two brothers love each other no matter what and despite many disagreements. One of the main story lines is about the murder of a young man, and Rudy's efforts to find the killers. It also looks at Rudy's internal struggles with being a cop (hmm, that sounds familiar). Rudy's life is affected by a "trickster spider."

Chris Eyre tried to take a realistic look at one of the most economically depressed area in America. He said the area has 80% unemployment, but a wealth of spirit and love. Much of the story takes place in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Whiteclay is just outside the reservation. The real town has a population of 22 people. It also has LOTS of liquor stores. Since liquor is not sold on the reservation, many people come here to buy alcohol. Anyone will tell you that not all Indians are alcoholics, but it is a serious problem. My grandfather (who disappeared when my mother was seven) had many battles with liquor. One of the lines in the movie is that by selling alcohol, they are feeding a disease.

There are times when the movie is hard to watch because of its frank depiction of desperate lives. At other times, it is quite funny or moving. Eric Schweig's character is trying to live a good life. However, he makes some decisions which will have many unexpected results for him and his family.

I only spent a few hours in Pine Ridge during my trip through there in May. So, I cannot tell you if the life depicted in this movie is really accurate. But, it does deal with a real problem in the American Indian community. This is not a politically correct movie, and it was intended to be one. Joe RedCloud told me there were some mixed feelings about the movie and the crew. Overall, from all of the people I have talked to who either live on Pine Ridge or have spent some time there, the movie was accepted for what it was, a story about two brothers facing life's trials.

I recommend the movie for its characters. It has several subplots which are also interesting. The final scene also appeals to me. The trickster spider strikes again!

Click on the title for more information on the DVD with no obligation
Click on "Buy from Amazon" to order a copy of the DVD

You can find a link to purchase the DVD on my store page:

Click on one of the underlined phrases below to go to that page.

Return to my Reviews Page

Go To "On This Date in North American Indian History" Main Page

Go to the AmericanIndian.Net Store

Reference Sites Tribal Sites Art, Music &
Photography Sites
General Sites
Personal Home Pages Language &
Web Ring Sites
Miscellaneous Sites Genealogy &
Media Sites
Map Sites History Sites PowWow & Events Sites Biography Sites
Information on
Specific Tribes
Commercial Sites Smaller Link Sites"Link of the
Month" Sites

Sign My Guestbook

View My Guestbook