Native American Films

Native American films are produced for entertainment and informational purposes. Many people are fascinated with Native Americans. As the First Nation of this country, the Indian Americans lost their land to settlers, fought various wars, and so forth. The majority of Native American films centers around the Indians fight for their land. This includes Indians waging war with the English, and being graphically defeated. Some films portray real life Native American characters, in which a few scenes or story lines are loosely based on true accounts. On the other hand, some films are pure fiction.  These portray stories of love, hardships, and provide insight into the daily life of the American Indians.

Western movies are closely tied to Native American films. In many instances, old western or cowboy movies included various scenes with Indians or Native Americans. Because western movies consist primarily of gunfights and shootouts, the movie plot typically included the cowboys fighting for Indian land. There are a lot of films that focus on Native Americans. True narratives include movies such as “The Ride to Wounded Knee,” “Even if a Hundred Ogres,” etc. Moreover, there are numerous Native American film documentaries. One popular documentary is “Nokomis: Voices of Anishinabe Grandmothers.” Many films are available from classic film libraries or online Native American video dealers. Additionally, various colleges and universities have an extensive collection of Native American film and television programs.

There are also a large number of modern Native American films. Classic productions include the Kevin Costner favorite, “Dances with Wolves,” and the 1990’s production, “Last of the Mohicans.” Because of the small number of Native American actors in Hollywood, the majority of Indian roles go to Hispanic or African American actors. In some instances, skilled makeup artist have been able to make over Caucasian actors into Native Americans.

Joseph Paige 2006

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