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500 Nations 

An exploration of the various Native American nations and their fall to the European conquerors.




2 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Kevin Costner ...  Self - Host 8 episodes, 1995
Gregory Harrison ...  Self - Narrator 8 episodes, 1995


500 Nations is an eight part documentary which explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization, to the end of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains Indians of North America. 500 Nations relies on historical texts, eyewitnesses accounts, pictorial sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which flourished prior to contact with Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations' desperate attempts to retain their way of life against overwhelming odds. Written by John McClain <320005v2y@mac.sega.co.jp>

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User Reviews

Show be shown in ALL High School American History Classes
9 July 2020 | by CinemaDude1See all my reviews

When I was a kid in school, they made such a big deal about us learning every state and its capital; I certainly never remember being taught about the Native American nations or their locations or anything about the systematic genocide that was exacted upon the peoples of our land. While we have slowly (all to slowly) become aware of our legacy with regard to the Africans who we enslaved and the stain that lingers on our collective minds to this day, as a culture, we are barely aware of the Native American cultures, who these people were or their cultures. They meld together into a single notion of "people who were here when we got here and who lived in teepees," and that's about it. Everything else is learned from Hollywood's western movies ...films like Tarza, Son of Cochese," where they dress up Rock Hudson in what Hollywood thinks ALL Native Americas look. And the many rich cultures that existed on American soil for eons before White Eyes got here has been systematically, I would suggest painfully ignored. Our modern culture barely even acknowledges Native American history and these, some of the worse sins of our fathers . This documentary is essential i educating use so we can have an incite into who we really are, as painful as that might be.

500 Nations is told mostly in the exact words of those committing the atrocities, giving a rare authenticity to the narrative and keep everything anchored in the historical context. Having seen this documentary, the next time you hear those cliched discussions about how is that that ordinary people living ordinary lives in Germany could wind up committing those atrocities toward the Jews, it might give us pause to question how good European Christians forming a new country could do what THEY did to the natives who were here long before White Eyes stepped foot on this continent, bringing with them their diseases and alcoholism and religion and perverted ideas of ownership of the land, water and air, but worse, their propensity for violence and genocide. This documentary needs to be as universally taught in schools as is "Catcher in the Rye" or "The Great Gatsby."

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Release Date:

20 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

500 Nations - Die Geschichte der Indianer See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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