April 18, 2009

Best TV documentary ever?

Another take on PBS's We Shall Remain series:

Lost tribes found

'GBH puts a human face on historyThe final two films are by far the best. Geronimo's epic journey from traumatized massacre survivor to diehard war chief to carnival exhibit is perhaps the most human story in American history. That this now-mythic figure, whose relentless campaigns caused his tribe to lose their ancestral home, was invited to lead Teddy Roosevelt's 1905 inaugural parade makes him, and by extension all Native Americans, more real and immediate than dry and distancing high-school texts ever allowed. Viewers will be amazed.

But "Wounded Knee" transcends even that revelatory coup. If you're keeping score, this program ranks among the best TV documentaries ever made. The film (all news footage and interviews) covers the Watergate-era occupation of the reservation town of Wounded Knee by armed members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) protesting corrupt reservation officials. Nixon's racist FBI portrayed the AIM as domestic terrorists; the political left called them heroes. They were a little of both, but this film sorts it out with no apologies (neither noble nor savage, remember), and viewers will inevitably understand and sympathize with the dissenters.
Comment:  No apologies for being domestic terrorists? If anything deserves an apology, that does.

Unlike those who think we can win wars without shedding blood, I understand the occasional need for violence. But those who commit terrorism without apologizing for its harm are no different from savages.

Anyway, I am keeping score. I'll let you know if Wounded Knee is equal to the best TV documentaries ever.

For more on the subject, see Defeating Apaches = Defeating Terrorists and Dueling Views on Geronimo.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

And let's not forget AIM's support for the IRA and the anti-Jew garbage that Russell Means spews. Below the work of people that AIM considers to be 'great leaders':