Drawing on his relationship with his father and the experience of a hunting trip in his youth, writer-director Randy Redroad’s first feature, “The Doe Boy,” is a reasonably affecting, personal story of a half-Cherokee hemophiliac’s struggle to measure up to expectations. Emotionally satisfying but lacking the edge and originality to create significant theatrical prospects, this thoughtful drama reflects on questions of family, cultural heritage and blood identity, touching on universal themes within a Native American context. Cable and video will be its main destination.
Gregg Araki regular James Duval plays Hunter, stigmatized with the nickname of the title after killing a female deer instead of a buck during his first hunting trip. The disappointment of his father (Kevin Anderson) and the distance between them is compounded by the physical limitations placed on Hunter to avoid injury. Breaking away from his father and overprotective mother (Jeri Arredondo), and drawing on the wisdom of his full-blood grandfather (Gordon Tootoosis), Hunter gradually discovers love and a true sense of his possibilities. Conventional drama is given a lift by Redroad’s sensitive handling, by its unforced spiritual dimension and by an able cast.