TWO INDIANS TALKING is a rare combination of both artistic and commercial merit. This feature film script is written by BC First Nations writer, Andrew Genaille (CLEAN FIGHT, JOHNNY TOOTALL), and cracks open the truth of many conversations surrounding what’s going on in Native communities today. Progressive opinions collide with traditional ways and the story never sinks into self-pity or defeatism about what is being faced. Do these men believe in their cause enough to risk their lives on a roadblock? Is this even an appropriate way to get the chance to address their community’s challenges?
First Nations audiences will identify with the truth and humour of these characters and their questions. Non-First Nations audiences will gain insight and get to hear discussions that often feel off-limits about what’s going on around, and among, all of us.
By Randy Shore
The main characters are played by veteran actor Nathaniel Arcand (Heartland) and newcomer Justin Rain.
It's an image of First Nations people that the broader community seldom sees.
"When aboriginals are in the media, it's always something dark, a confrontation," Genaille said. Images from roadblocks are fraught with tension and the threat of violence, but that's not all that's going on.
"If you visit a roadblock, the natives are there for their political reasons, but they have a weird sense of humour about it," he said. "I've seen the RCMP sitting around with the guys, drinking coffee and laughing, but you don't see that in the media."
"Natives are a silly bunch of people."
Humour plays multiple roles in native culture, in particular, gentle mocking and teasing, as a way of forming friendships and defusing tension. It's often so subtle, that overly earnest Caucasians miss it entirely, a fact many natives exploit for their amusement, just to see how long it will take their hapless victims to catch on. Teasing functions as a First Nations IQ test for outsiders.
For more on the subject, see Sherman Alexie on Stereotypes and The Indian and the White Guy.