Not all films are intended as escapist, popcorn entertainment.
Indian Horse — a harsh examination of the life of Saul Indian Horse — is unflinching in its portrayal of both the best and worst in the First Nations man’s life.
The film festival favourite shows the horrors inflicted upon young kids in the residential school system, forced assimilation into religious culture and racism in the 1970s.
Stephen S. Campanelli directs here, and applies a sure hand when it comes to tone and the depiction of the most difficult events of Saul’s life.
The longtime camera operator for Hollywood titan Clint Eastwood takes a front seat here, with Eastwood on board producing.
The product is a film that can’t have possibly shown all the trials and tribulations of Indian Horse’s life — but one that doesn’t shy away from the tough moments either.
Saul finds happiness and purpose in hockey, and the scenes on the ice are marvelously shot.
It may be difficult to watch men with tight-knit bonds traveling from town to town by bus given the recent Humboldt tragedy, but it’s bound to resonate that much more with audiences who see the film.
Indian Horse is not pleasurable viewing — sometimes it can be downright dreary.
But it’s so much more than that: it’s necessary and wholly important to see, and sometimes, that’s what audiences truly need.