Robert Redford describes him as ‘a poet, an artist, a spokesperson and a spiritualist.’ John Trudell’s biography could not be more American, but his life also sheds light on his country’s darker sides. Trudell is a staunch proponent of the American Indian Movement. Archival images depict an angry activist who was a key figure in the occupation of the former prison island of Alcatraz, once Indian land. In February 1979, just hours after he gave a speech in Washington decrying FBI actions against Native Americans, Trudell’s house in Nevada went up in flames, killing his pregnant wife, his three children and his mother-in-law. Was it an accident or arson? Trudell has since withdrawn from militant activism, turning instead to poetry and music as weapons for his ongoing struggle.