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Trudell has all the elements of a promising documentary: a fascinating, vocal subject in American Indian Movement activist and poet John Trudell, a decades-long struggle for native rights and the environment and a life of symbolic victories matched by all-too-real tragedies. Sadly, it's easy to come away from the film with nothing but the knowledge that director Heather Rae really, really admires Trudell.
Short on the meat of documentary--archival detail--and long on hero worship, Trudell's few interesting anecdotes are, unfortunately, buried in reams of ersatz mystical montage and impassioned recitations of poetry that are, at best, an acquired taste. It's all clearly well meant, but Trudell needs to serve the story of the man more than the man himself.