At its most basic level, Trudell is an eye-opening documentary that challenges belief systems. At its loftiest, Trudell will inspire you to reawaken your spirit.
In the telling of Trudell, Rae invested more than 12 years chronicling John Trudell's travels, spoken word, and politics. (The making of the movie, a journey in itself, is as much a story as the finished product).
The film combines archival, convert, and interview footage in a lyrical and naturally stylized manner, with abstract imagery mirroring the coyote nature of Trudell.
Pockmarked with adversity, counterbalanced by preservance, Trudell begins in the late sixties when John Trudell and a community group, Indians of All Tribes, occupy Alcatraz Island for 21 months. This creates international recognition of the American Indian cause and gives birth to the contemporary Indian people's movement.
Rae revisits Alcatraz, returning to what John refers to as his birth. From Alcatraz, we follow John's political journey as the national spokesman of the American Indian Movement (AIM).
During this tumultuous period, his work makes him one of the most highly political subversives of the 1970's, earning him one of the longest FBI files in history (more than 17,000 pages).