- Director: Sydney Freeland
- Writer: Debbie Formoso; Sydney Freeland
- Producer: Chad Burris; Mateo Frazier
Drunktown's Finest suffers - in part - from inexperience and budgetry restraints. Sydney Freeland may have been a little too ambitious with the characters, conflicts and scope...
But...there's no denying the heartfelt sincerity that unfolds throughout the film.
Few films are made about modern-day Native Americans, fewer are made about 'Reservation' life...and, few people understand the autonomous mechanism under which these reservations work.
In general, they are seen to be hotbeds for alcohol abuse and violence...they are places to leave rather than to live.
Drunktown - alas - focuses on the negative...the title kind of gives it away! And, as with every deprived community, there are the diamonds amid the rough. Here, those diamonds are the elders...laboriously talking about tradition and heritage...the delivery of these stories tend to be more soporific than enlightening...with one exception.
The trans*story-line...as refreshing as it is...is a little under-played...by newcomer Carmen Moore. Her trans*identity is unquestionably accepted by her family...it's even explained how the third gender brought women and men together. But, the whole protitution thing is maddeningly simplified.
This all may sound a little harsh...afterall, it makes no qualms about being a low-budget indie...but, the potential was there...some scenes have some tremedous power...the little boy and his abusive father, the look when Felixia's hair resumes its natural colour...and, it has to be said, the cinematography is impressive throughout.
Sydney Freeland did a good job with what was available...bigger budgets and a script editor will only help a career that - already - has a fairly solid foundation.
Drunktown has a great big heart at its core...and, for that reason alone...makes it a damn fine film.
Three young Native Americans - an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be, and a promiscuous transsexual - strive to escape the hardships of life on an Indian reservation.