Published in 1976, the critically acclaimed novel, The Education of Little Tree was quickly embraced by critics as a seminal work of Native American literature. A memoir about life as an ...
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Published in 1976, the critically acclaimed novel, The Education of Little Tree was quickly embraced by critics as a seminal work of Native American literature. A memoir about life as an orphan in the Tennessee hills, Little Tree's author Forrest Carter was beloved for his sensitive work of non-fiction. However, as it turns out, Forrest Carter was not actually a Native American orphan and the story of Little Tree was a complete fabrication. He was actually Asa Earl Carter a KKK leader from Alabama and the writer of George Wallace's 1963 "Segregation Now! Segregation Forever!" speech. The film tells the story of Carter's incredible journey from white supremacist to New Age guru. Written by
I had the good fortune to be at the first showing of this doc at the IFC Center in NYC. Being in book publishing for more years than I care to admit, I was vaguely aware of the back story of "The Education of Little Tree" but this doc was a real eye opener. The story of Asa (Forrest) Carter is almost Theater of the Absurd except it actually happened. The film does a wonderful job of presenting the facts while raising some disturbing questions about the classic literary theme of appearance and reality. The camera work is excellent. The interviews with many of the acquaintances of Carter are probing. Thought provoking to say the least. I understand it will be on PBS in 2012. You should make an effort to see it.
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