TRUDELL follows the life work of Native American poet/activist John Trudell. Filmmaker Heather Rae has spent more than a decade chronicling his travels, spoken word and politics in a poetic and naturally stylized manner. The film combines archival, concert and interview footage with abstract imagery mirroring the coyote nature of Trudell himself.
Incorporating years of work, 16mm and Super 8 film, video, and archival footage, TRUDELL begins in the late sixties when John Trudell and a community group, Indians of All Tribes, occupied Alcatraz Island for 21 months creating international recognition of the American Indian cause and birthing the contemporary Indian people’s movement. The film goes to 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)--this work making him one of the most highly volatile political ‘subversives’ of the 1970’s with one of the longest FBI files in history (over 17,000 pages.)