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Johnny Greyeyes

1 rating: -3.0
A movie directed by Hilary Brougher

This award-winning film is a dramatic story about a Native American woman dealing with the day-to-day pressures of incarceration at a women's prison. Johnny (Gail Maurice) has been in prison since the violent murder of her father. Losing contact … see full wiki

Director: Hilary Brougher
Release Date: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Johnny Greyeyes

Johnny Greyeyes 2000

  • Oct 23, 2002
Pros: exterior scenery

Cons: acting, script, direction & interior cinematography

The Bottom Line: Unfortunately this is poorly made

Although this movie received some awards, and other reviews I have read tout it as fantastic and forthright cinema, the most I can say is the exterior photography was fabulous.

Johnny Greyeyes tells a good story. A woman being released from prison and the trials she is facing leaving the family she made in prison behind and trying to bring the family she left at home back together. However, between the horrible acting and low quality production, the movie became just a really long 76 minutes.

For some reason, all shots inside the prison were just miserable. It looked like I had taken a video camera and handed these women the script and they were reading it line by line. In retrospect, when the scenes moved to the exterior, suddenly the camera work shines, the acting didn't get any better though.

In addition, the storyline was so chopped up, jumping from the future to the past, childhood to prison and then back to midlife, that it got entirely confusing. You often had no idea what time frame you were viewing, except when she was a young child.

Further confusing, it says on the cover and in the movie, that Johnny had been in prison since the shooting of her father. She appeared around 12 at the time of the shooting, yet she looks mid 30's or so when released. That wouldn't be a problem except it said she had only been in prison 7 years.

Both written and directed by Jorge Manzano, the movie Won the 2000 Freedom Award @ LA Outfest and Feature Film Award from NY International Independent Films, both for Jorge's participation. The movie carries an R rating for violence and sexual innuendo with a couple of breast shots.

Perhaps for a Native American film, which ironically was filmed in Canada, this was good cinema. However I was far from impressed with Gail Maurice who played Johnny or with Columpa Bobb who played her supposed lover, Lana. For the squeamish, there are no sexual encounters between the women in the movie, simply one or two shared kisses.

Other than the beautiful scenery, I enjoyed the detail explained about Native American culture for the few glimpses we see and the brief story given behind the ceremonies.

I really cannot recommend this movie.



Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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