Tuesday, September 27, 2016
'The Seventh Fire' DVD Candid Documentary on Indian Reservation Drug Culture
One of the first impressions of the September 27, 2016 VOD/DVD Film Movement release of the documentary "The Seventh Fire" is that it very similar to the (Unreal TV reviewed) Movement release of the documentary "The Other Side." The former focuses on the impact of the drug activities of gang leader Rob Brown (a.k.a. Two Thunderbirds) on his Minnesota Indian reservation; the other documents the daily lives of the poverty-level citizens of a small Louisiana community.
In true documentary style, veteran filmmaker Jack Pettibone Riccobono merely turns his camera on Brown and lets him tell his own story. Watching this subject work in his drug lab teaches us a few tricks of the trade, seeing him interact with secondary character/quasi-aspiring drug lord teen Kevin (who is the Jesse to Brown's Walter) provides the element of the futility of changing things, and watching Brown play with his young daughter shows that he is a genuine family man.
Riccobono also awesomely provides essentially the life story of Brown in a few minutes by having the latter read a report on him while meeting with his attorney. This conference also offers good insight into the plea bargain process and results in aspiring poet/author/baby daddy Brown facing his fifth prison term.
For his part, Kevin is living his personal dream. He is well-connected and is enjoying himself. He further seems primed to achieve his ultimate goal of filling the void that the imminent unfortunate incarceration of Brown is creating.
At the same time, Kevin additionally is emulating Brown in that the younger man is evaluating his present life and pondering his desired future. This provides the context for Riccobono to share information about a center that helps young reservation residents such as Kevin start down a path that is better for both those young people and society.
The impact of "Seventh" is that it reminds the rest of us about the poor conditions and challenges facing the descendants of the the folks who beat us to the to the shores of the United States. The film also illustrates that change is not entirely impossible.
Movement provides a bonus bonus adding a second film to the typical short film that accompanies every selection in the fantabulous Movement (mostly foreign) Film of the Month Club and many standard features, such as "Seventh." Both "Killer" and "The Sacred Food" are by Riccobono. Each of these films can be considered separate halves of "Seventh" that combine to tell a similar story to that main feature.
"Killer" is a candid 1989 documentary on at-risk kids in New York City. "Food" is a voice-over narrated film that uses beautiful scenery to literally illustrate several hundred years of Indian lore in a few minutes. That one ends with a report on an effort to preserve that heritage.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding any work of Riccobono is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,