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Segment analysis of Smoke Signals

             The film entitled Smoke Signals, directed by Chris Eyre deals with the lifestyle of Native Americans living on an Indian reservation in Idaho. The main characters Victor (Adam Beach) and Thomas (Evan Adams) grew up together on this reservation. Thomas is a nerd who enjoys telling stories that have no interest to anyone. His parents died in an accidental fire in 1976, he was saved from the fire by Victors father Arnold Joseph (Gary Farmer). On the other hand Victor is a tough kid that never got over the fact that his father left his family when he was young. After ten years of suppressed anger, Victor gets news that his father has died. He is given the opportunity to travel to Phoenix, Arizona in order to collect his father's ashes and personal belongings. Victor does not have much money and is forced to travel with Thomas who offers his life savings in order to help fund the trip to Arizona, on the condition that Thomas is able to go along on the trip. Arrangements are made and they set off to Phoenix, where they encounter many challenges together. When they return to the reservation, both Victor and Thomas have found new respect for each other as well as for Arnold Joseph. The overall theme of this film focuses on Victor finding his true self inside, a goal that he only achieves after he properly mourns his father's death and accepts him for who he was as a Native American. .
             This spiritual enlightenment is depicted in the closing sequence of the film. It begins when Thomas returns home and closes his eyes in an attempt to narrate the journey that Victor had to encounter in order to forgive his father and come to peace with him. As Thomas closes his eyes the scene fades out and dissolves into an aerial shot of a calm stream. The overall speed of the sequence is slow; it gradually speeds up as Thomas's narration evolves. The audience gets the feeling of flying over a calm stream in which the clouds above are reflected on the water, the sun provides natural lighting.

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