IMAGES OF INDIANS SERIES (1979) Parts 1,2 & 3
November 12, 2010 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Screening and discussion with Maureen Schwarz.
Since their invention, Hollywood movies have generally portrayed Native American Indians as bloodthirsty villains, anonymous and deadly forces of nature, or as noble savages. And speaking roles tended to go to Anglo-Saxons in red-skinned versions of minstrels. Who can forget Rock Hudson as the warrior chief Young Bull in the classic Winchester ’73? Narrated by genuine Native American Will Sampson, who played Chief Bromden in the Academy award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Images of Indians is a five-part documentary that shines a light on Hollywood stereotypes of Indians. The series was written, produced, and directed by Phil Lucas and Robert Hagopian.
PART 1: THE GREAT MOVIE MASSACRE. The first part examines how much of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was real and how much was just show. The West as a mythic realm envisioned by revered Western director John Ford is compared to reality.
PART 2: HOW HOLLYWOOD WINS THE WEST. The second episode examines how U.S. history as wrought by Hollywood has enshrined the 19th century racist philosophy known as Manifest Destiny — the notion that God intended for the United States to extend from sea to shining sea for white people. Highlights include numerous cowboy-and-indian battle scenes from various movies.
PART 3: WARPAINT & WIGS. The third installment focuses on the prejudice suffered by Native American film actors who have the audacity to seek roles as Indians. Highlights include interview footage with director King Vidor.