Release Date: April 03, 1992
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: TriStar Pictures
Director: Michael Apted
Producer: John Fusco
Address Comments To:
(LLL, VVV, NA, RH) 79 obscenities, 16 profanities & obscene gestures; four shootings, bloody suicide, rampant murder, & view of corpses; Indian pantheism; and, revisionist history.
In THUNDERHEART, the murder of a Sioux tribal leader on a reservation in South Dakota leads FBI agent Ray Levoi to receive a crash course in pantheism. The filmmaker's bias is obvious: the FBI is brutal; and, the Sioux are one with the earth. Though the movie is entertaining, it is regrettably replete with offensive elements. Most annoying is the paganistic revisionist perspective, which may deceive some into accepting THUNDERHEART as legitimate docudrama.
In THUNDERHEART, the murder of a Sioux tribal leader on a Badlands reservation in South Dakota leads FBI agents Ray Levoi and Frank Coutelle to investigate. On the surface, the victim seems the latest fatality of a civil war between rival factions in the tribe. As the case unravels, Levoi becomes aware of his Sioux heritage. Being part Sioux, Levoi receives a crash course in Indian pantheism from Grandpa Sam Reaches. As the investigation continues, evidence points to a secret conspiracy within the FBI to allow the federal government the ability to explore for uranium on the reservation. The death of cattle and sick children, who drink from the river, is due to contamination from the search for ore.
The filmmaker's bias is obvious: the FBI are brutal; and, the Sioux are one with the earth. The movie does have entertaining qualities, however, as well as strong performances, and it beautifully captures the Badlands of South Dakota. Unfortunately, it is replete with offensive language and gestures, including a bloody opening scene. Most annoying is the paganistic revisionist perspective, which may deceive some into accepting THUNDERHEART as legitimate docu-drama.