December 24, 2007

Westerman and sidekick Costner

The music at the heart of the Indian movement

'He was a survivor of everything that the government has tried to do to Native Americans.'The New York Times favorably reviewed the film, "Dances With Wolves" in 1990 but complained that it was "too long" at 181 minutes. It opined: "A historical drama about the relationship between a Civil War soldier and a band of Sioux Indians, Kevin Costner's directorial debut was also a surprisingly popular hit, considering its length, period setting, and often somber tone."

That description might have sufficed for white audiences, but all across America and everywhere in the Western Hemisphere the film was shown, American Indians were mesmerized by Floyd Westerman in his role as Ten Bears. As much shining authenticity as could be crammed into his role, Floyd delivered. There was no doubt he led his people, and there was no doubt the child who came to learn was the white man. To Indian people, Kevin Costner played a side role to Floyd's magnificent performance.

But magnificence in life was definitely not the attitude of Floyd Westerman the person. Recently he said when commenting on his work: "Our struggle is all about our spiritual rights and the Indian point of view ... they're so old, they make the Bible look like it was recently written."

1 comment:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Oh, wow, does that mean, in such an appealing interpretation, that Kevin Costner as Lt. Dunbar, was the comic relief 'sidekick' to Floyd Red Crow Westerman as Ten Bears? What a lovely idea! Now, THAT is how writerfella sees the world of media!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'