The Business of Fancydancing

Watch The Business of Fancydancing

"Sometimes going home is the hardest journey of all."
  • 2002
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 6.6  (535)
  • 49

The Business of Fancydancing is a 2002 drama film that delves into the complexities of Native American identity, history, and culture. Directed and written by Sherman Alexie, the film follows the life of Seymour Polatkin (Evan Adams), a poet who returns to his reservation in Washington State after being away for years. The film is a raw and emotional exploration of the struggles and realities of the modern Native American experience.

The movie starts with Seymour's return to the reservation where he grew up. He comes back to reconnect with his childhood friend, Mouse (Swil Kanim), who has stayed on the reservation and is now working as a teacher. Seymour also reconnects with his ex-boyfriend, Aristotle (Gene Tagaban), and his sister, Agnes (Michelle St. John). However, Seymour is no longer the same person he was when he left the reservation. He has become a successful poet in Seattle, and his fame and success have alienated him from his community and his roots. This causes tension and conflict between Seymour and those around him.

As the film progresses, we learn more about Seymour's past and the reasons behind his departure from the reservation. We see flashbacks of his childhood and adolescence, revealing the trauma he experienced as a gay Native American growing up on the reservation. The film explores the themes of self-identity, cultural heritage, and the struggle to reconcile one's individuality with the expectations of one's community.

The Business of Fancydancing is not a typical Hollywood movie, and it challenges the viewer to engage with complex issues surrounding Native American culture and history. The film provides a glimpse into the rarely depicted realities of reservation life, including the high rates of poverty, alcoholism, and depression. It also portrays the strength and resilience of the people who live in these communities and their commitment to preserving their traditions and culture.

The acting in The Business of Fancydancing is outstanding. Evan Adams delivers a powerful performance as Seymour, grappling with his identity as a Native American and a gay man. Michelle St. John is equally impressive as Agnes, who carries the weight of her family's history on her shoulders. Gene Tagaban is remarkable in the role of Aristotle, showcasing the complexity of his character's relationship with Seymour.

The cinematography in the film is also noteworthy. The landscapes of the reservation are captured beautifully, with sweeping shots of the mountains and forests surrounding the community. The camera work adds an immersive quality to the film, making the audience feel almost as if they are visiting the reservation themselves.

Overall, The Business of Fancydancing is a poignant and thought-provoking film that delves into the complexities of Native American identity and experiences. It is a powerful exploration of the themes of community, heritage, and self-discovery, and it should be watched by anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and realities of the Native American experience.

The Business of Fancydancing
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (535)
  • Metascore