December 27, 2009

The Legend of Tillamook's Gold

Tillamook TreasureTillamook Treasure, now known as The Legend of Tillamook's Gold, is an independent 2006 family film set in the city of Manzanita, Oregon, United States. Based on a Native American legend about a treasure buried on Neahkahnie Mountain by Spanish sailors in the 1590s, this is the story of a 14-year-old girl's discovery of what is important in life.The Legend of Tillamook's Gold

By Elliot V. KotekPunctuated with a fine performance by a pretty youngster in Suzanne Marie Doyon (as Julie) and by veteran thesp Max Gail as Grandpa, this flick succeeds by not patronizing its audience, and by celebrating the central role that extended families play in small towns. That the film does not strive for Disney perfection is also admirable.

Set on the shoreline of the serene state of Oregon, Tillamook unravels over one summer vacation. Julie, who narrates the adventure, relocates with her financially troubled family from Los Angeles to Manzanita and into her Uncle Jimmy's modest home. Surrounded by sparring parents, a storytelling grandfather and a college-bound sister whose life consists of a constant game of tonsil hockey with her immature boyfriend, Julie spends her summer sauntering along the oceanfront without direction until she stumbles across a Spanish gold coin. The tale of the Tillamook Treasure is local lore, the legend being that the finder of the loot is not to be a simple explorer but an individual brave enough to not be afraid of the ghost of the slave buried with the booty.

Inspired by her find, Julie is soon entranced by an imposing elk that appears intermittently, and she finds herself following bird feathers, mystical runes, fate-filled voices and her innate Native American feelings into the mountains and into a collection of real and dream-like adventures.
Comment:  Kind of funny how the film's producers went from a dark poster to a light one. The new poster is so suffused with sunshine that Suzanne Marie Doyon has changed from a brunette into a blond.

I don't think either poster is great, but at least the old one hints at something dark and interesting. The new one screams "feel-good Afterschool Special with a heartwarming message."

Anyway, I haven't seen this movie. Sounds like it includes heavy doses of Indian mysticism and a wise elder (Floyd Red Crow Westerman). I'll have to see it someday.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've seen this film and wasn't sure what to expect. It is really good. I was impressed by Max Gail's performance, along with the music chosen for the movie.