Dance Me Outside

on June 02, 1995 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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   Bruce McDonald, director of "Roadkill" and "Highway 61," shifts gears with his third feature, a flavorful rendition of W.P. Kinsella's novel about life on a Northern Ontario Indian reserve. Unlike such mythically resonant films as "Dances With Wolves," "Dance Me Outside" is an often hard-scrabble take on the contemporary native life of teenagers with more in common with their white counterparts than with their tradition-bound parents.
   Some of the teens are grappling with what to do with their lives after high school; others are dealing with the murder of a native woman by a white man. And there's Illianna (Lisa Lacroix), who's married to a white Toronto lawyer and is being pressured by her mother to have children. That's a lot of plotlines for a film that runs less than 90 minutes, and the result is somewhat choppy; Illianna's story especially feels shoehorned. Also, McDonald could have done more to bring the film's rich atmosphere to life. But the weaknesses are compensated for by Kinsella's fresh characterizations and "Dance Me Outside's" fine performances.    Starring Ryan Black, Adam Beach and Lisa Lacroix. Directed by Bruce McDonald. Written by Bruce McDonald, Don McKellar and John Frizzell. Produced by Bruce McDonald and Brian Dennis. A Shadow release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 87 min.
Tags: Ryan Black, Adam Beach and Lisa Lacroix. Directed by Bruce McDonald. Written by Bruce McDonald, Don McKellar, John Frizzell, Produced by Bruce McDonald, Brian Dennis, Shadow, Drama
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