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John Trudell is a poet, musician, actor, and political activist who has been speaking out on behalf of the Native American people with intelligence and passion since the late '60s. Trudell took part in the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island by the activist group Indians of All Tribes, who intended to use the former prison as a school for Native American youth. Trudell eventually became one of IOAT's leading spokesmen, and in 1973 became chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM), which would become the most visible and powerful Native American activist group. In 1979, not long… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Combines a minimum of critical distance and a maximum of gratuitous flash."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"By preaching so relentlessly to the choir, this film misses an opportunity to show what got them to sing in the first place."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"An ultimately forgettable account of the poet and historic speaker for Native American rights"
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"The movie tries to do too much, sandwiching in extraneous histories of the Indian occupation of Alcatraz, for instance, and skimming quickly past the mysterious fire that killed Trudell's wife and children."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Short on the meat of documentary -- archival detail-- and long on hero worship ..."
‑ , E! Online
"Rae's reluctance to delve into more complex, personal or specific territory -- with anecdotes, for example -- limits viewer involvement."
‑ Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
"Despite the rambling finish, however, overall the film is a thought-provoking and graceful portrait of a tenacious peace warrior whose frankness is his greatest weapon."
‑ Erin Meister, Boston Globe
"A bittersweet bio-pic which presents an articulate, defiant and sensitive soul who promises to remain committed to resistance till he draws his last breath."
‑ Kam Williams, Upstage Magazine
""Trudell" may be a one-sided work of propaganda, but it's effective, well-crafted and informative propaganda."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"A tribute to the focused and prophetic Native poet and activist who loves the Earth and has made many stands for the dignity of his people."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"[John] Trudell is the compelling presence at the heart of Trudell, Heather Rae's fascinating but superficial treatment of the poet, singer and tilter-at-windmills who has been at the barricades from the get-go."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"How could a movie about someone with one of the nation's longest FBI files be this dull?"
‑ Tim Grierson, L.A. Weekly
"Like many "documentaries" that are essentially homages, Trudell often lacks context."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"This documentary feature is more concerned with telling us about Trudell's many exploits than with telling us about the man. As a result, it feels superficial, and the tone is much too reverential."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"...should all be interesting, but Rae goes that extra mile to make it alternately dull and irritating."
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
More reviews for Trudell on Rotten Tomatoes