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Trudell FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byHeather Rae
Produced byHeather Rae
Elyse Katz
Written byB. Russell Friedenberg
Music byJohn Trudell & Bad Dog
CinematographyGilbert Salas
Heather Rae
Edited byGregory Bayne
Heather Rae
Release date
  • January 20, 2005 (2005-01-20) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • February 24, 2006 (2006-02-24) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

Trudell is a 2005 documentary film about American Indian activist and poet John Trudell. The film traces Trudell's life from his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska, through his role as a leader of the American Indian Movement. It also covers his rebirth as a musician and spoken word poet after his wife died in a house fire suspected as arson.

Heather Rae produced and directed the film, which took her more than a decade to complete. Trudell aired nationally in the U.S. on April 11, 2006 as part of the Independent Lens series on PBS.


The film received generally mixed reviews from the critics.

... one of the most prominent and passionate advocates for Native American rights. ... [John Trudell] deserves more daring and objective scrutiny than this overly reverent tribute.

— Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times[1]

By preaching so relentlessly to the choir, this film misses an opportunity to show what got them to sing in the first place.

— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times[2]

Despite the rambling finish, however, overall the film is a thought-provoking and graceful portrait of a tenacious peace warrior whose frankness is his greatest weapon.

— Erin Meister, The Boston Globe[3]


  1. ^ Catsoulis, Jeanette (2006-02-24). "Movie Review - Trudell (2005) A Portrait of a Stormy and Complicated Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  2. ^ Turan, Kenneth (2006-03-10). "Movie Review - 'Trudell'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  3. ^ Meister, Erin (2006-03-10). "Trudell Movie Review - A touching portrait of an activist". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-03-04.

External links[edit]