Friday, May 20, 2011

Fish Hawk

(Don Shebib, 1979)

An amiable kid's flick with Will Sampson as an Indian who gets in touch with himself while hunting bear and boar on behalf of his white settler friend; he kicks the bottle after his negligence causes the death of his dog. Sampson projects such strength and purpose that his settler counterparts almost disappear. Dad is sheepish and inactive; mom experiences a conversion from her racist beliefs which is sudden, absolute, and barely motivated. The kid stares a lot, and learns an important lesson about life: don't kill the agitated blind boar that killed your dog and 'slow' friend, because he'll be dead by winter anyway...hmmmm. Shebib gives this familiar and calculated script his best shot in hack mode; the animal footage isn't very well integrated, but you can see them trying. And where it doesn't work logically it kind of works emotionally, which I suppose is how it goes with kids' films.

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