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      Clearcut

      R 1991 1 hr. 36 min. Adventure List
      Reviews 82% 100+ Ratings Audience Score After lawyer Peter Maguire (Ron Lea) fails to prevent a logging company from clearing a huge swath of land on an Indian reservation, an embittered Native American man named Arthur (Graham Greene) becomes obsessed with inflicting suffering on the men who allowed his people's land to be abused. With revenge on his mind, Arthur kidnaps Maguire and an executive from the logging company, takes them into the woods, and begins to torture them in ways that echo how he feels they harmed his reservation. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Mar 07 Buy Now

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      Clearcut

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      Audience Reviews

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      Wayne K Graham Green has made a lot of movies throughout his career, but all these years later, Clearcut remains his personal favourite, and it's not hard to see why. A film equal parts brutal and illuminating, focusing on the land claims of an indigenous population and how modernisation and industrialisation is destroying not only their home, but also their way of life. Being a Native American himself, much of the story likely hit close to home for Greene, and he gives the most committed and intimidating performance I've ever seen him give. Holding 2 people captive for most of the runtime, his capricious nature means you're never sure what he's going to do at any given time, and his skills and abilities leave no doubt as to whether he can follow through on his threats. The movie doesn't just focus on one side of the argument, painting one group as the heroes and the other as the villains. Both viewpoints might not receive the same amount of focus, but there's enough to make you actually consider the implications for both parties. It's presented like a savage odyssey, where 2 businessmen are brought into an unfamiliar realm and are largely at the mercy of both mother nature and the person who wields its powers. It's a shame that it never achieved much mainstream success, but the fact that's become something of a cult favourite speaks volumes about its quality, appeal and enduring impact. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 05/05/23 Full Review CKB Polish director Ryszard Bugajski emigrated to Canada in the mid-1980s after infuriating Soviet officials with his 1981 film Interrogation, described as "the most anti-Communist film in the history of Polish People's Republic," which was not released until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Clearcut was his first feature film in Canada, and he was able to relate very well to its story of the plight of Native Americans fighting to keep yet more of their ancestral lands from being taken to serve corporate greed supported by an indifferent government. Peter Maguire, the earnest city-boy lawyer who tries to protect them, feels helpless as he sees the system is stacked against these people. When he submits to a sweat lodge purification ceremony, his frustration comes out in a vision of revenge. Soon afterwards he is introduced to Arthur, a militant indigenous activist (played with frightening forcefulness by Graham Greene) who, it appears, is here to help Peter fulfill his vision of making powerful people feel the pain that they are inflicting on the unprotected. Peter finds himself helplessly drawn along as Arthur carries out his mission in warrior fashion. The film is striking in its portrayal of the raw racism directed at the indigenous people, and in showing the various sides of this issue so clearly. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Terrible at best. Made no sense with an erratic plot seeming to go nowhere and it did. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member I love Graham Greene's role here since the reason why he kidnapped those 2 men to teach them a hard lesson. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Audience Member One of my all-time favorite films Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member I had viewed this movie after its release in 1991. Although I enjoyed it at the time, I had forgotten about it until I recently watched a more recent Graham Greene role. The movie contains violence, torture and brutality which would seem to make it a natural for American viewing audiences. However, it also deals with native North American traditions and the inevitable conflict that will result from a collision of North American property laws and Native American culture. Think, On Sacred Ground without Segal and Caine. However, unlike On Sacred Ground, the Protagonist (played by Ron Lea) is Peter Maguire, an activist attorney and not a martial arts / demolition expert and clearly not ready for the path his life is about to take. Maguire loses his battle against the owner of a local saw mill clearing the forest which has been home to the local native North American village. When he meets with the local elder of the village to strategize the next step, the elder invites Maguire to a sweat purification ritual. The ritual results in Maguire's realization of his personal frustration, anger, and outrage. He meets Arthur (portrayed by Graham Greene) a native North American and an outlet for this anger. Arthur is 500 years of native North American outrage personified. While Arthur becomes the embodiment of Maguire's outrage, Maguire becomes Arthur's captive on a kidnapping and torture rampage of the local saw mill operator. The movie incorporates a large dose of symbolism. As an example, Maguire's brief case is taken by a child of the native North American village who fills it with her collection of things from nature. But I could not help but think that this movie could have been an instant classic and propelled all involved to a different level if the film actually took the direction it only insinuates, the duality of the Ed Norton / Brad Pitt characters form Fight Club. Clearcut walks that edge, but never crosses it. If it had, this movie could have been much more than it was, plot fodder for a Steven Segal interpretation. I recommend the movie for several reasons. Graham Greene does justice to that favorite of American movie going audiences, the psychopath (think Chigurh from No Country). The scenery and filming are breathtaking. You feel like you are actually canoeing through the great north waterways. Finally, the movie does offer the viewer an insight into the collision between the cultures of the natives and the frontiersmen. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

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      Kathleen Maher Austin Chronicle Rated: 3/5 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal Rated: 3/5 Aug 22, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis After lawyer Peter Maguire (Ron Lea) fails to prevent a logging company from clearing a huge swath of land on an Indian reservation, an embittered Native American man named Arthur (Graham Greene) becomes obsessed with inflicting suffering on the men who allowed his people's land to be abused. With revenge on his mind, Arthur kidnaps Maguire and an executive from the logging company, takes them into the woods, and begins to torture them in ways that echo how he feels they harmed his reservation.
      Director
      Ryszard Bugajski
      Executive Producer
      Stephen Alix
      Screenwriter
      Rob Forsyth
      Production Co
      Cinexus Capital Corporation
      Rating
      R (Language|Violence|Strong Moments of Torture)
      Genre
      Adventure
      Original Language
      English
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $3.5K
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