Smoke Signals

 Though Victor and Thomas have lived their entire young lives in the same tiny town, they couldn't have less in common! But when Victor is urgently called away, it's Thomas who comes up with the money to pay for his trip. There's just one thing Victor has to do: take Thomas along for the ride!

Identity & Diversity

Download Study Guide

About the Film

Smoke Signals, the award-winning independent feature by Chris Eyre is a magical story that connects the histories and destinies of Victor and Thomas, who grew up together along the Spokane River on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation. The film follows Victor as he is called across the country to retrieve his father, but Thomas is the only one around who can help him get there. Amidst struggles with poverty and domestic violence familiar to many communities, this narrative raises questions of authenticity. Who is a real Indian and what does it mean to be Native American in the late 1990’s?

Central to Smoke Signals is the story of triumph and reconnection, and the journey of healing and rebirth, as two young men come to terms with themselves and the turbulent circumstances that caused Victor’s father to leave the Reservation, never to return. 

Film In Context

The first major nationally acclaimed film release written, directed and co-produced by Native filmmakers, Smoke Signals fleshes out complexities and the humanity of Reservation life. Using humor and folklore, Director Chris Eyre’s characters resonate across generations and backgrounds. Victor, whose father left home while suffering alcoholism, is thrust into confronting his family, his roots and the magic and healing that continues through Native American oral traditions today.