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The Exiles

Directed by Kent Mackenzie

Release: 1961
Runtime: 72
Country: U.S.
Language: English

THE EXILES chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. Based entirely on interviews with the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of exiles — transplants from Southwest reservations — as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance. After graduating from USC in 1956, Kent Mackenzie began to hang around with a group of young Native Americans in downtown Los Angeles. He then asked them to collaborate on a film that would present a realistic portrayal of life in the community. In 1961, it was finished, but it was rarely seen for nearly fifty years. With UCLA Film & Television Archive’s magnificent restoration and Milestone’s release, THE EXILES stunned the film world. It introduced a filmmaker of incredible talent and insight and revealed a subject that had not been seen before or since: the Diaspora of Native Americans who had left the reservations for the city. Gritty, realistic, beautifully photographed, and energized by the brilliant rock-and-roll score by Norman Knowles and The Revels, THE EXILES is a cinematic miracle.

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Technical Info

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Color: B&W