Pukahontas is the film that Barney made for the Springfield Film Festival. It is a touching black-and-white film about Barney's struggle with alcoholism, and is best known for its closing tagline, "Don't cry for me, I'm already dead."
Pukahontas opens with a shot of a Duff Beer bottle sitting on a windowsill with curtains billowing around it in the breeze. A hand reaches up, turns the bottle upside down, and the shot zooms out to reveal that Barney is drinking the beer. The shot changes to a view from above, now showing that Barney is lying on a couch. Barney, narrating in voice-over, says, "My name is Barney Gumble. I'm forty, I'm single, and I drink."
The scene shifts to Barney lying in a gutter drinking another Duff. He collapses and lays the bottle down with some beer still in it, and beer spills out and pours into a sewer grating. The narration continues: "There's a line in Othello about a drinker: 'Now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast.' That pretty well covers it." Next, in a time-lapse sequence, clouds in the sky pass by as the day changes to night and back to day again. The shot changes back to Barney, who is now old, bald, and toothless, lying in the same gutter. A tear leaks from his eye and rolls down his cheek.
In the next scene, Barney, seated in a chair, apparently for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, says, "My name is Barney Gumble and I'm an alcoholic." The camera zooms out to show that Barney is sitting in a circle with several girls wearing Scout uniforms. Lisa Simpson says, "Mr. Gumble, this is a Girl Scout meeting." Barney replies, "Is it? Or is it that you girls can't admit you have a problem?"
The scene changes to a record player, then back to Barney on his couch, holding a rose to his nose. Barney says, in voice-over, "Don't cry for me, I'm already dead." He puts the rose in the Duff bottle on the windowsill, and the petals slowly fall off, scattering in the breeze. In the closing shot, the curtains billow as "Fin" appears on the screen.
Barney's film drew wild applause, and more than a few tears, from the entire audience. Movie critic Jay Sherman immediately said, "I think we have a winner."
Later, when the jury cast their votes for the film festival's grand prize, Jay described Barney's movie as "sensitive, yet unfortunately-titled." He and Marge Simpson immediately voted for it to receive the grand prize. After a night of soul-searching, Homer concurred, and Pukahontas won the grand prize, having earned the votes of three of the five jury members. Ironically, the grand prize turned out to be a lifetime supply of Duff Beer.
Cultural References / Trivia
- The film's title is a pun on the 1995 Disney animated movie Pocahontas.
- Several parts of Pukahontas are based on the 1945 classic film The Lost Weekend, which is about an alcoholic writer.
- The song heard throughout Barney's film is "Un Bel di Vedremo," from the opera Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini.
- In the DVD commentary, the creators also state that some of the effects in the film, such as the time lapse and the music, are a nod to the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi.