James Duval shines in this vivid, affecting coming-of-age story. The Doe Boy follows Hunter (Duval)--a half-Native American, half-Caucasian boy with hemophilia--from childhood to his life as a young adult. His father (K... more »evin Anderson) doesn't know how to relate to a boy who can't work with tools or play sports; his mother (Jeri Arredondo) fights to protect her vulnerable son. When his father finally takes him on a hunting trip, Hunter accidentally shoots a doe--leading to the nickname "doe boy," which haunts him. It's difficult to describe The Doe Boy; a story summary sounds gimmicky and doesn't capture the writing and performances, which are beautifully detailed and bracingly honest. Most importantly, despite not having a propulsive plot, The Doe Boy doesn't drag or meander. In fact, you may want it to slow down so you can spend more time with these characters, whose lives are hurtling by. --Bret Fetzer« less
"I won't attempt to summarize the plot because as the editorial reviewer notes, it is difficult to do so without the movie sounding cheesy or trite. But suffice it to say that the acting is top-notch and the actors do not force their performances like some do in indie films. The direction by Randy Redroad is outstanding; he doesn't resort to gimmicky angle shots to highlight the mystical elements of the story. And finally, the musical score and songs are quite moving and will have you rewinding just to hear them again. Highly recommend you use 85 minutes of your life and watch this film."
As Good As Indie Films Get
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 08/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Talk about movies that slip under the radar! Almost nobody heard about Doe Boy and there really isn't a good - or acceptable reason.
Slowly paced this very gentle film packs an emotional wallop few films with bigger budgets, more stars and loftier stories could hope to achieve. Doe Boy is about Hunter - a boy with an American Indian mother and white father. Hunter is a hemophiliac, a disease seemingly unknown to Native American's. His macho father (a terrific performance by Kevin Anderson) loves his son, but is let down by the boy's inability to be more physically active because of the disease. As the film traces Hunter's story from childhood through his late teens, we see the difficulty of the relationship between he and his father straining and the inability of his mother to let him go and be the man he needs to be.
James Duval gives a performance that is positively incandescent. With relatively little dialogue, and through facial features, body language he fills Hunter with a sense of defiance and the need for acceptance, and the struggle of being different, in more ways than one. Acceptance and understanding do not come easy, but with the aid of his wise grandfather, a beautiful girl, and coming to grips with his heritage and nature, Hunter's journey is one that everyone should be able to relate to.
An amazing, nearly perfect movie. "
Beautiful, haunting film
D. Pawl | Seattle | 04/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From what I was told, the novel from which this film was based was quite beautiful and moving. If it is anything like this movie, I would definitely read it. The performances were strong, the story was engaging, and the struggles that Hunter, the main character, must go through, living between two worlds--the world of the Whites and the world of the Natives--is noble and heartwrenching to watch. How can he possibly "become a man" in the way his White father sees fit--through becoming a fine hunter (hence, the name)--when he can only shoot a doe? This also crosses over to his mother's culture, where shooting does is the ultimate sin because they symbolize fertility. Hence, the death of the doe is also the death of the generations. Hunter's generations may also be at risk for hemophilia, the disease he acquires--the White man's disease. This film tackles everything--breaking away from family, self definition, first love and the epidemic of HIV.
I definitely reccomend it. It is a fine film, and be sure to have Kleenex handy when you watch it. It is a real tearjerker."
Soon to be some kind of classic
sonytoao | 06/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This carefully crafted drama is about Hunter, a Cherokee teenager in Oklahoma. His name is ironic-- he longs to be a good hunter and win the approval of his white father, but his first shot as a child brought about humiliation. He mistakenly kills a doe, earning him the childhood nickname, Doe Boy. Set in the 80's, Hunter is caught between many worlds-- the white world and the Indian world, childhood and manhood, the old red road and newly paved road.
Symbolism abounds but is never cheesy or overt; for example, Hunter has hemophilia, a disease that keeps his blood from clotting-- a "white disease." This affliction is closely tied into many things in his life-- his struggle to belong, his fear of vulnerability, his inner strength, the tension in his relationship with his father.
The story is subtle but incredibly strong and emotionally-charged. It's about the struggles of self-identity, father-son relationships, reconciliation, and healing. There is no melodrama or cliche in this film-- it's entirely refreshing. The dialogue is terrific-- often hilarious, never trite. James Duval totally possesses his character and draws you into Hunter's story-- his performance is really beautiful. I'd like to say that anyone at all who's mixed-blood in some way can strongly relate to this story, but I think its detailed uniqueness actually reaches that point of being universally accessible. I don't think anyone can see this film without relating with Hunter or caring immensely what happens. This is one of those 'must-see/must-have' films for anyone who values good stories."
Great indie film
leslies_library | MI United States | 06/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Doe Boy is sensitive and sweet, with a moving portrayal by James Duval. As both a family melodrama and a coming of age story, it shows family and cultural friction among its characters. The soundtrack is also very good, with tracks by Robbie Robertson among others. Definately worth more than one viewing."