Gabriel John

Genre:  Documentary
Running Time:  40 min.
Release Date: February 9, 2008 (limited)

Current rating: Rating: 4.67
based on 6 votes and 3 reviews
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Gabriel John is a captivating account of a day in the life of a young Native American man forced to resolve conflicts around issues of self-identity and belonging. This film is a collective narrative creation of Alberta based ChickenHorse Productions.

Starring acclaimed actor Dakota House (One Dead Indian, North of 60) and Jimmy Herman (Hank Williams First Nation, Dances with Wolves), this short was shot in a number of First Nations across Canada in the European style maximizing visual and sound assets in a provocative narrative.

The art direction by artist John Freeman enhances the richness of the story. The film follows Gabriel Day Star, a young native man living away from his community to attend University who returns home during a break to retrieve personal effects and then return to the city where he is cultivating a new identity.

The life-force of his white mother, who died while he was young, continues to haunt his world perspective forcing him through a spiritual transformation, back into the lush Native world of ceremony, spirit and song. Gabriel's mixed loyalties are further challenged by his father’s strong spiritual presence when Gabriel is faced with yet another loss.

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User Reviewsread all

  • 5 stars "Canadian story, with an American Indian story that many have experienced. Obviously a story from the inside. Was able to get a DVD from the Production Company's web site. Worth the viewing."
  • 4 stars "This short drama could easily have been a feature length and would have held my interest. Good dialogue, good to see Dakota House acting again and in a different role. Also there is the neatest looking collie in this film that seems to act well. I would recommend this film, worth the admission, hope it comes out in DVD."
  • 5 stars "I was able to see this film and was very impressed. The story is tight and music great. I am looking forward to whatever comes next from this production company. They appear to be able to tell stories well. If you get a chance, go and see it."
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