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Native Americans and Cinema



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Native Americans and Cinema by Barksz Csilla
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The term 'Native American' covers more than 500 nations living in the U.S., with a rich cultural heritage, a real mystery for many outsiders. Yet, we all are familiar with the 'Indian', the product of the White man's imagination. Western films from Hollywood's golden age invariably depicted Native Americans as primitive, bloodthirsty savages and threats to the civilization. Has the American film industry produced movies in which the first nations of America are portrayed in their cultural integrity and variety, devoid of clichs and biases? The first two chapters of this book tackle this question, by analyzing two films from the 1990's: Kevin Costner's immensely popular "Dances with Wolves" and Jim Jarmusch's art film, the "Dead Man." The third chapter is dedicated to Chris Eyre's "Smoke Signals," the first feature film directed, written and photographed by Native Americans that achieved popularity among Non-Native audiences, too. This analysis should help anybody, interested in the filmic representations of Native Americans and their cultures, in relation with the portrayal of the White man and White American society in general.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2008
Country of Publication
VDM Verlag
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