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The 8th Fire (2007)
I liked this documentary because it focuses on the environment, the problems humans have caused for the environment and what we need to do as humans if we want to help save the environment. This program is told from the Native perspective and since Natives look at this situation differently from how non-Natives view it, that's what makes it unique. But the whole point to this program is to show viewers that Mother Earth is in serious need of help. Mother Earth is in drastic need of change in that we as humans must change our ways and habits if we are to live in harmony with her. The Earth has gone on for too long now where we have caused too much stress on her. Too many people are over relying on governments to solve this problem when in fact we need to solve the problem ourselves. It all starts with us. Government never cared about the environment as much as we need to because they are making too much money off the pollution that the corporations have caused. This really is a sad situation but the governments and the corporations don't care. The more pollution there is, the more money the corporations make! Anyways... this film earns an 8 out of 10 due to its sensitive nature.
The Spirit of Sacajawea (2007)
True Native heroine never officially recognized like she should...
I felt that Sacajawea should be more recognized than Lewis and Clark since she contributed just as much, if not more than them. Although there is a commemorative coin in her honour, the makers of the coin didn't even have the common decency of engraving her name on it! The image of Sacajawea with her child is on it but WHY they didn't bother to add her name on it is unfathomable! The Lewis and Clark Expedition should be renamed the Sacajawea Expedition since she was the one who helped Lewis and Clark survive throughout that long journey! She taught them how to survive the cold winters, taught them how and what to hunt, what to grow, which plants to take and which ones to avoid etc. Remember that Lewis and Clark were in a foreign part of the States at the time so they clearly didn't know what to expect and how to survive. That's why Sacajawea had to go along with them ... not only to guide them along the way but to teach them survival skills they needed for the journey. Anyways... the point of this review is to say that she should be given A LOT more credit than both of her travel companions. That's why this documentary exists: to point out all her contributions throughout the long journey. So really she had 3 people to look after - Lewis, Clark and her little baby son but still she is not given nearly enough the credit that she deserves. Nonetheless, I still loved this documentary. That's why it deserves a 9 out 10.
Chloe & Theo (2015)
People from 2 different worlds coming together..
I liked how this film had 2 people from different worlds coming together to fight environmental corruption. It was like destiny in motion when the Inuit man felt the need to travel down to NYC and met up with the lady. It just so happened from pure luck that certain things were exposed to both individuals that came from the evil corporations who were hell bent on further destroying the lands and resources we all take for granted. Although there was really nothing either of them could literally stop the bad guys from further polluting and abusing the lands, air, water and natural resources, they did their best to expose the truth to the surrounding non-stop and clueless New Yorkers who only cared about what their daily cup of Joe about which celebrities were seeing who, who was getting hitched with who, who was breaking up etc. The last thing on the average New Yorker's mind was the environment and how it had to be saved from further destruction. Anyways... this film earns a 7 out of 10.
Osage Tribal Murders (2010)
Such a sad story!
While I was watching this one, I was both sad and infuriated at how the Osage People were being severely used and abused by Uncle Sam, the FBIand all their associates who did not give one hoot about the People! All they wanted was the oil and other resources that lay buried underground for the greedy corporations to steal and abuse for themselves! This is why I have always sympathized with Native Indigenous People throughout Turtle Island as well as throughout Central and South America! More corruption is found with the governments here in the New World than anywhere else. The worst genocide in human history occurred right here. The problems the Osage had/still have with the corporations prove that point because as long as there is oil or any other precious resource lying on and beneath their traditional lands, the corporations will always be there to steal them away from the People! That's why I give this film a well-earned 9 out of 10.
Bury My Heart with Tonawanda (2013)
A very good film..
I was very saddened by this film when the boy was rejected by everyone in society. But when the Native Seneca family took him in like that, it only proves that Natives are and have always been a class act! If they see someone in distress like the way John was, they always rise up and answer the call. In this case, a boy was in dire need of help and thus the People felt the need to do something drastic otherwise who knows what would have happened to him! Anyways... so as it turned out, it was great to see that they took him in because not only were they his saviours but he also got to learn the Peoples' traditional Native ways throughout those years. As the old saying goes: everything happens for a reason and in this case, it was a win-win situation for everyone. I give this film an 8 out of 10 and I would recommend this one to any historical drama enthusiasts.
An accurate account on Wounded Knee...
I love documentaries like these because they always teach viewers on the truths about what really happened with the AIM Conflict at Wounded Knee in 1973. Too many people still today refuse to accept the truth about what happened during those 71 days. But fortunately that's why society has specific kinds of programs like these so that people can actually learn something, especially the die-hard doubters who still think it was the fault of the armed protesters who were only looked at as "criminals" when in fact all they did was defend their own sovereign rights as unique individuals. That's why Indigenous people everywhere defend their lands and rights ... because of the corrupt bureaucracies they dealt with back then and what they still face every day. Anyways, I strongly recommend this one for all Native documentary enthusiasts. That explains my rating of a perfect 10.
Le dep (2015)
A good Canadian made film...
I liked this film because there was no discrimination against the Native characters. It was simply an account where everyone was looked at as equals. But I believe the whole point to this one was that the girl was severely traumatized by the fact that her father abused her brother when he was a child. She was forced to relive all those bad times after her brother stormed into the store disguised as a burglar. He recounted on how their father used to abuse his son when he was young. This made her sympathize with him and eventually gave him the money he asked for. Everything came to a climax when her brother and father both had it out toward the end. Fortunately no one got killed but she did not pick sides after the fight ended. First she gave her brother the money and demanded he leave and never come back while also demanding her father not lay charges on his son for assaulting him since that was the least he could in retaliation for all the abuse he endured as a child. Although the pace of the film was slow, it compensated for that during the final scene. Anyways... that's why this one earns a 7 out of 10.
Two Indians Talking (2010)
A good film with minimal characters...
I liked this film because it didn't have too many characters. The main focus was on Justin Rain and Nate Arcand talking about their problems growing up (but especially how harder it is for Native kids), how one professes that being in school is beneficial for Indians while the other says school is just white man's way of "being educated". But the main topic of their long discussion was whether to join up with a protest against logging companies were trying to tear down trees that sat on traditional Native land. (I think ... if memory serves now. It's been a long time since I saw the film). Anyways so as they were discussing many things about life in general they contemplated joining up with their People, mostly friends and relatives in attempting to prevent further corruption on their own land by the logging companies. It all came down to what was going to happen to the land. Would the logging companies get their way like how all corrupt organizations do and wrongfully clear the land away or would the Native protesters win this battle by stopping them from destroying their traditional lands?
The Activist (2014)
I loved this film since it deals with the sensitive nature of what went on during the AIM Conflict in 1973. The 2 "prisoners" who never did a thing to anyone were wrongfully arrested. That's a no-brainer since there was obviously no justice for them. However justice finally came for them when the attorney defended them. The only problem was they didn't get released from their cells like they should have. But I noticed at how the final credits say that Tonanzin Carmelo played Anne Ward when in fact she portrayed Sacheen Littlefeather. For those who don't know she was the one who acted on behalf of Marlon Brando by refusing to accept an Oscar Award. Hollywood's portrayal on Natives was pathetic (and still is) and since Brando got tired of seeing that kind of treatment on Natives, he opted not to accept any awards. Ann Ward was clearly played by someone else. I also liked how that one cop became sympathetic to those 2 boys while the other cop was a real racist loser.
Anyways... this film truly deserves a 9 out of 10.
The Dome of Heaven (2011)
Sad ending to this one...
I found this film to be OK but my opinion regarding Flutie's inability to speak with enough confidence stemmed from all the stresses in her personal life ... how her father and brother never got along and always fighting. Years of enduring that took its toll on her. Growing up is hard enough but to grow up in a dysfunctional family like the way she had to was even harder. I believe that this affected her psychological well-being and thus ended up affected her confidence and ability to speak.
Unfortunately Frank couldn't cope with the accident which caused him to commit suicide. I believe that was from all the years of not being able to get along with his father. Anyways... this film has earned a 7 out of 10 in my books.