It’s been 25 years since all eyes were on the Cree kid from Edmonton who made it big with a starring role in the indie hit Smoke Signals. Now grown up, former child actor Cody Lightning is deep in the bottle and down on his luck, basking in past glories via faded VHS tapes and endlessly rewriting zombie-priest scripts with creative partner Kate (Hannah Cheesman). When his friends stage an intervention, Cody seizes the moment — and camera crew — to take one last shot at producing Smoke Signals 2. With backing from a psycho investor and in hot pursuit of Adam Beach’s wig to tie the film together, Lightning’s deliriously dysfunctional set becomes a mess of unresolved tension and self-destruction, leading to a long-overdue reckoning with the community that raised him.
Unapologetic and unafraid to milk sacred cows, Hey Viktor! is an irreverent comedy that’s as smart as it is raunchy, and marks the arrival of a major comedic voice in Native cinema. With rich supporting turns from Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, and Simon Baker, Lightning strikes a balance between riffing on the work of a previous generation and the importance of community.––Cedar Sherbert