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Ryan Rajendra Black,
A documentary about the evolution of the depiction of First Nations people in film, from the silent era to today. Featuring clips from hundreds of films, candid interviews with famous Native and non-Native directors, writers and actors, Reel Injun traces how the image of First Nations people in cinema have influenced the understanding and misunderstanding of their culture and history. Written by
We're too busy trying to protect the idea of a Native American or an Indian - but we're not Indians and we're not Native Americans. We're older than both concepts. We're the people. We're the human beings.
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I was really looking forward to seeing this documentary. In fairness, it does live up to its promise to expose the "Hollywood Indian" as a fabrication. But seriously, who didn't already know that - at least to some degree? What Reel Injun fails to do is offer any substantial new insight into the reality of Aboriginal cultures. There's so much rich diversity, and yet we learn next to nothing about any particular group. There's a place in the documentary where the point is made that relatively few Americans actually know an Aboriginal person. It's unfortunate that Reel Injun doesn't do much to help in that regard. Maybe I was expecting too much from an 86 minute doc. Hopefully there will be a follow up to Reel Injun that focuses more on who Aboriginal people are, as opposed to what they are not.
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