The Exiles

2 discs. b/w. 72+ min. Kent Mackenzie, dist. by Milestone Film & Video, 201-767-3117; 2009. DVD ISBN 978-1-933920-08-5. $29.95. SOC SCI
The Exiles chronicles a day in the late 1950s in the lives of a group of young Native American transplants from Southwestern reservations to the Bunker Hill section of downtown Los Angeles. Mackenzie makes extensive use of voiceover narration by the subjects, who articulate their hopes, fears, and sense of isolation and alienation as they shop, cruise the bars, listen to rock'n'roll, visit with friends, and congregate on Hill X to party, drink, fight, and share their indigenous cultural identity against a backdrop of tribal music and dance. After nearly 50 years, The Exiles has been magnificently restored by UCLA Film and Television Archive, revealing the richness of its extraordinary black-and-white nighttime cinematography. Through recent theatrical release, it has also received renewed critical acclaim as a masterwork of neorealism and independent filmmaking. The two-disc "premiere edition" features other films by Mackenzie (1930–80) and DVD-ROM files of his personal papers, plus bonus tracks of other shorts focusing on L.A. Collections of film, academic, and major urban libraries as well as film aficionados will want to purchase this unique hybrid of feature and documentary.—Susan E. Annett, Santa Monica P.L., CA
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