Unusual subject matter and astute psychological observations highlight this coming-of-age saga about a sensitive teenager who never measures up to his dad's expectations. Hemophiliac Hunter Kirk (James Duval), a native of Tahlequah, Okla., is the product of a mixed marriage his mother, Maggie (Jeri Arrendondo), is Cherokee while his father, Hank (Kevin Anderson), is Caucasian. Maggie accepts Hunter's physical limitations, but veteran sportsman Hank had hoped his sullen son would compensate for his own failures in life. The friction between them started with a childhood incident in which young Hunter (Andrew J. Ferchland) accidentally shot a doe instead of a buck; the youngster was saddled with the humiliating nickname "Doe Boy," and however hard he fights his physical frailty, Hunter hasn't matured into the manly man Hank wanted. By the time Hunter's friends have been accepted into the army, Hunter has had his fill of Hank's conspicuous dad's disappointment and moves out. But just as Hunter is getting his life in order, including a relationship with the sympathetic Jeri (Jade Herrera), his doctor delivers some disturbing news. The area's only other Native American hemophiliac has died of AIDS, contracted from a blood transfusion. Feeling he's living on borrowed time, Hunter wants to bag a deer to please his father, even though this requires facing his worst fears and revisiting the forest where he was humiliated as a child. Hunter's journey into self-discovery parallels a hunting accident that shows how precious life can be, and he learns that recriminations can make a lifetime seem even shorter than it is. Writer-director Randy Redroad and his cast make you feel the emotional blight endured by these characters; the film's treatment of Native American culture is free of the usual condescension, and it deals intelligently with father-son dysfunction and the long-term effects of illness on family relationships.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: NR
- Review: Unusual subject matter and astute psychological observations highlight this coming-of-age saga about a sensitive teenager who never measures up to his dad's expectations. Hemophiliac Hunter Kirk (James Duval), a native of Tahlequah, Okla., is the product o… (more)