Episode Guide

The Exiles

Director Kent MacKenzie's slice of very low-budget, US independent filmmaking looks at life in the margins of the American dream. His quasi-documentary, beautifully shot in black and white, focuses on a group of young Native Americans who've abandoned their Indian reservation for the Los Angeles slum of Bunker Hill (long-since redeveloped).

Yvonne Williams and Homer Nish take the lead roles as a husband and wife, while Tommy Reynolds plays one of Homer's friends.

The movie opens with the camera following Yvonne traversing an open-air market, it trails her to her cramped home, where Homer's friends are introduced, then follows them all through an evening's carousing in town, finishing with a till-dawn traditional drumming ceremony/jam session up in the hills.

Along the way, the characters' voiceovers and dialogue give an intriguing, sobering glimpse into the lives of a people who should feel utterly at home but instead have been pushed to the very edges of society.

The cast members are all untrained first-time actors, lending a further edge of realism to the film.

The Exiles synopsis

A fascinating exploration of the lives of a group of marginalised people inhabiting an about-to-be-razed Los Angeles slum

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