On the night of February 27, 1973, a caravan of cars carrying 200 armed Oglala Lakota-led by American Indian Movement (AIM) activists-entered Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation and ... See full summary »
Black Cloud, is an inspirational story about a young Navajo, Native American boxer, who overcomes personal challenges as he comes to terms with his heritage, while fighting his way for a spot on the US Olympic boxing team.
In South Dakota, in an Indian reservation, an old storyteller Indian asks his grandson Shane, who is in trouble owing money to some bad guys, to take his old pony and him to Albuquerque to ... See full summary »
Mary Crow Dog, daughter of a desperately poor Indian family in South Dakota, is swept up in the protests of the 1960s and becomes sensitized to the injustices that society inflicts on her ... See full summary »
Dave Bald Eagle,
When a lawyer loses an appeal to stop a logging company from clear-cutting Native American land, Arthur, an Indian militant drags him and the kidnapped logging mill manager into the forest.... See full summary »
The story of Irena Sendler, a social worker who was part of the Polish underground during World War II and was arrested by the Nazis for saving the lives of nearly 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto.
John Kent Harrison
Marcia Gay Harden,
Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by... See full summary »
Beginning just after the bloody Sioux victory over General Custer at Little Big Horn, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee intertwines the perspectives of three characters: Charles Eastman, né Ohiyesa, a young, Dartmouth-educated, Sioux doctor held up as living proof of the alleged success of assimilation; Sitting Bull, the proud Lakota chief who refuses to submit to U.S. government policies designed to strip his people of their identity, their dignity and their sacred land - the gold-laden Black Hills of the Dakotas; and Senator Henry Dawes, who was one of the architects of the government policy on Indian affairs. While Eastman and patrician schoolteacher Elaine Goodale work to improve life for the Indians on the reservation, Senator Dawes lobbies President Grant for more humane treatment, opposing the bellicose stance of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Hope rises for the Indians in the form of the prophet Wovoka and the Ghost Dance - a messianic movement that promises an end of their ... Written by
The mouse that craws under the blanket is clearly not the same mouse that is hit with the pan by the Indian woman and then removed from under the blanket. See more »
There were no early crops. Now there will be no late crops. Does it seem to you that our coffee rations are smaller?
Why do you tell lies about my part in the fight at the Little Bighorn?
It was Agent McLaughlin. You angered him. He made me say these things against you.
How can this be? All our lives, we were like brothers, sharing meat when we had it. When we had no meat, and when food was but a day's ride to an agency, we could not be made to take from the whites!
I will go and speak straight...
[...] See more »
BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE is a somber retelling of the events leading up to the massacre at (what is now) the Wounded Knee Memorial. But this isn't a documentary. This is a made-for-TV fictional retelling, and it is the "made-for-TV" bit that makes this important American event lose some of its composure.
The entire production flags because of the TV aspect, many of the film shots losing their impact either because of lack of attention to detail or funds (or probably both). Either way this could've been an extreme visual recollection for most viewers but instead it lacks the depth I would've liked to have seen.
Regardless, there are some stellar appearances and acting within it. August Schellenberg as Sitting Bull undeniably has the most impact. Recent movie viewers will probably remember him from his portrayal as Powhatan in THE NEW WORLD. The contrast between the character in The New World and here in Wounded Knee shouldn't be lost, either. Without Powhatan and Pocahontas, the white settlers at Jamestown would've perished within the first few winters. And now, in Wounded Knee, it is the white man who destroys what is left of Native American life; a terribly stark (and bloody) reality.
The other notables are Adam Beach (FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS) as Charles Eastman, and Aidan Quinn as Senator Henry Dawes. They spend a lot of time together on film and they played against/off each other exceptionally well. Charles being the "new wave" Indian who melds into the white man's way of life until exposed to reservation life at Pine Ridge. Henry Dawes seeing himself as "The Great White Savior Of The Indians" by passing legislation that loops a few nooses around the necks of the Plains Indians' way of life without even realizing it.
But other actors have little to offer. Anna Paquin (X-MEN) as Charles' white love interest (and eventual wife) is seen too infrequently so the relationship between the two has little impact. She does a good job of acting but the script stymied any possibility of real success. From here the acting dips into the drab and boring. I have to give mention to Senator Fred Thompson (currently a Republican runner for the U.S. Presidency) who plays President Ulysses S. Grant. We see maybe four frames of film with him in it and then he's gone. This surprised me greatly since it was Grant's administration that doomed Native Americans by rounding them up and placing them on reservations.
Despite my misgivings about the script, cinematography and acting, this is a vital story that needs to be told, and it isn't something that is normally taught in grade school or higher. Europeans (us) conquered this land and its people, and pushed them into holding pens where they, to this day, await justice for our multiple treaty violations and massacres of their men, women and children (I will say that the scenes depicting large-caliber rifle bullets ripping through young kids was filmed well and was equally hard to watch).
So the story gives this film a higher rating than anything within it, which is unfortunate, as this terrible moment in American history needs to be remembered just as much as Germany needs to remember its holocaust.
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