May 25, 2007

Bury My Heart worth watching

McCollum:  'Bury My Heart' is not perfect, but it's very good[T]he Eastman character is so well-written by Giat and acted with such passion and nuance by Adam Beach ("Flags Of Our Fathers") that you almost can overlook the historical inaccuracies. Beach's work is so good that it alone makes "Bury My Heart" worth watching.

In addition, Giat has crafted multidimensional portraits of Sitting Bull (a deft performance by Canadian actor August Schellenberg, who is part-Mohawk) and of Dawes (a skillful turn by Aidan Quinn of "Empire Falls"). The great chief and the well-meaning but patronizing politician could have been shown simplistically as hero and villain, but Giat and the actors give both shades of gray that make them far more interesting and, probably, truer-to-life.

And in the end, the filmmakers achieve what they set out to: They've made a moving and enlightening movie about a horrific chapter in American history. "Bury My Heart" may not encompass everything that was in Brown's book, but it does manage to capture its tone and its pain. I can live with inconsistency of detail if the big picture is fundamentally truthful and true to the subject. Which means I can recommend "Bury My Heart," even with its flaws.

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