The Doe Boy, a Cherokee Movie
by Christina Berry
The Doe Boy (2002)
Written and Directed by Randy Redroad
It's not everyday, when, flipping through the channels, that I end up watching a Cherokee film, by a Cherokee director. So imagine my delight when I came across The Doe Boy on the Sundance Channel. The film stars James Duval, an actor I've admired since the 1990s when he starred in several controversial Gregg Araki films, all of which I really like, so stopped and watched.
Soon I realized that there was a lot more to this film than just another Duval picture. For one thing, Duval plays a young man who is half Cherokee. The character, Hunter, suffers from hemophiliac, a disease that prevents the blood from clotting, suffers can bleed to death from simple cuts and injuries. The sad irony of a mixed-blood Cherokee who suffers from a rare blood disease is very compelling, and enthralling. The picture is also an interesting coming of age story, which explores his struggles with love, health, tradition, and family.
The filmmaker, Randy Redroad, is also a Cherokee mixed-blood, and says that the film is, to a certain extent, autobiographical. He worked closely with the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee community when filming in Tahlequah, I saw a lot of familiar names it the credits.
This award-winning work is one in a series of Native movies that are created by Indians. In fact, this film was produced by Chris Eyre, director of Smoke Signals and the PBS Mystery! episode Skinwalkers starring Cherokee Wes Studi.
If you want to watch The Doe Boy tune in to The Sundance Channel or check your local video store. And keep an eye on Randy Redroad, a Cherokee filmmaker who I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of in the future.
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