Three Native American sisters (Red-Horse, Bedard, Guerrero) decide to try to sell a line of cosmetics they call Naturally Native, based on old tribal remedies, only to have to fight an ... See full summary »
Three Native American sisters (Red-Horse, Bedard, Guerrero) decide to try to sell a line of cosmetics they call Naturally Native, based on old tribal remedies, only to have to fight an uphill battle with racist business people. The film is actually Red-Horse's comment on her fight with the movie industry to get her films made and this film is the first to be totally financed by an Indian tribe, Connecticut's Mashantucket tribe. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
This movie had a great basis... three Native American sisters who want to start their own business, and in the process learn much about their past, their people, and discover themselves in a ... well, touching way.
Unfortunately, the writer / director / star, Valerie Red-Horse, was completely out of control in her efforts. The movie suffers badly from a disjoint plot (must they deal with every issue confronting Native Americans?), typically conspicuous product placement (I recoil at such an otherwise brave idea being tarnished by name-dropping companies such as Walmart -- pay the bills a little more subtly please), boring dialog which is far too transparently forwarding some sort of political agenda (I really dislike the reciting of facts and figures in movie, a la the meeting with the agent from the Bureau of Indian Affairs), as well dated plot devices (I was already very tired the "new-age" concept of self-actualization by 1998, and this movie serves it up in very liberal amounts).
It is as if the directing of the movie simply spiraled out of control as production went on and no one had the courage to reign things back into control. I wonder where the co-director, Jennifer Wynne Farmer, was during the directing of the movie? I assume that Ms. Red-Horse had most of the control of the movie. I could be wrong.
The bottom line is that this is a movie that has a very noble sentiment, wonderful efforts by most of the cast, but a very sophomoric sheen and a lot of ridiculous scenes and dialog which disappoint greatly.
I hope that in the future, as we grow farther away in time from the greatness and power of the Native American nations, more efforts will be made by indigenous Americans to portray Native Americans in film. Indeed, I hope that the makers of this very movie have matured and honed their craft in the years since this movie was released (1998), and that they do something else which shows this maturity. I'm sure Ms. Red-Horse has heard the criticism loud and clear and I hope she has taken it to heart, and the movie itself had just enough good to it that I expect something much better next time.
I personally want my children to love, respect, honor, and revere American Indians. Americans often look to Hollywood for enlightenment and education on such topics as Native Americans. I hope that Hollywood can do a better job of making a movie that actually entertains and educates the public on this venerable, important, and far too overlooked topic.
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