After the success of the languid Separado!, Gruff Rhys returns with what he calls “an investigative concert tour” that delves into 18th century Welsh explorer John Evans (a distant ancestor), who spent 1972 hunting for a Welsh speaking Native American Tribe. Evans believed that the Welsh prince Madoc had discovered America in 1170 and that his descendants had become the Mandan Tribe.
In American Interior, Rhys (alongside his felt puppet in the likeness of Evans) traipse across the US following in the footsteps of John Evans, who encountered malaria, snakes, jail and holding off the British Empire (single handed) on the border of Canada. Rhys touches on many issues close to his heart, especially in exposing the attempts by colonisers to destroy indigenous language and culture – which finds support from Native Americans he encounters on his travels.
Comprising Ryhs slideshow-cum-solo gigs and his charming, inquisitive quest (which asks the question, Why we haven’t seen more of this side of his likable onscreen nature?), the film is at once touching, informative and ultimately beautiful.