Synopsis by Mark Deming
Johnny Depp made his debut as a director and screenwriter with this allegorical tale of the plight of Native Americans. Raphael (Depp) is an alcoholic American Indian who lives in a hovel near a junkyard with his wife Rita (Elpidia Carillo) and his children Frankie (Cody Lightning) and Marta (Nicole Mancera); he scrapes together a meager living rescuing potentially salable items from the rubbish. Desperate to raise money, Raphael arranges to meet a wealthy man named McCarthy (Marlon Brando), who makes him an unusual offer: he'll pay Raphael $50,000 to appear in a film in which he's beaten to death by a gang of rednecks. The murder in the film will not be faked; if he takes the role, Raphael will suffer a painful demise in front of the camera. Raphael accepts, hoping the money will help Rita build a better life for their children. For the next seven days, Raphael tries to enjoy his last week on Earth and teach Frankie something of his new responsibilities as the man of the house. The Brave received decidedly mixed reviews in its initial screenings at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival; it had a limited release in Europe but has yet to appear in the United States, either in theaters or on home video. Punk rock icon Iggy Pop composed the film's score.
film, filmmaker, garbage-heap, husband, killing, love, Native-American, poverty, sacrifice, sacrifice-for-family, self-sacrifice, snuff-film, suicide, suicide-attempt, trailer