DANCE ME OUTSIDE (1994)
Directed by: Bruce McDonald
Character’s Name: Gooch LaCroix
This excellent movie has been an audience favourite at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals and especially among young Indian people. Over the course of two weekends a year apart, the lives of several Indian teenagers are forever changed. Storylines interweave: one deals with the tragic murder of one of the young people, while another deals with a complicated love story-the return of Gooch, who has just been released from prison and comes back to the rez to find that his former girlfriend, Illianna, has married a yuppie Toronto lawyer, Robert McVey. Robert and Illianna can’t have children so Illianna asks Gooch if, for one night, he’ll reignite their old romance. Throughout the story, the humour of Native people emerges again and again.
Michael says, “‘Dance Me Outside’ is one of my favourite films. It is an amazing movie, because it shows native people as contemporary.So many people in America and around the world see us more easily as people from the past but that simply is long past. Even the way we look can’t be defined easily. If you go to any reserve or any of our urban communities, we have an amazing diversity–from the way we look to the way we live. That is not what a lot of people understand, but this amazing movie shows it—especially our humour. We love to laugh, and I know so many of our people love this movie because of that. Everywhere I go in Indian country, people will walk up to me and say, ‘You’re Gooch!’ (the character I played in this movie). ‘I love that movie-I’ve seen it 30 times!’ That is an incredible compliment.”
Photo © Take One magazine (Canada), summer 1995