September 18, 2010

Compelling movies about indigenous struggles

Blogger Stephen Bridenstine offers this list of Native-themed movies:

Forget Avatar:  10 Compelling Films of Real-Life Indigenous StrugglesIt may bill itself as "the biggest adventure of all time" but let's stop kidding ourselves. Countless critics, bloggers, and filmgoers alike (this one included) were right. Behind the multi-million dollar budget, the dazzling special effects, and the marketing blitz is the not-so-thinly-veiled truth--Avatar is one of the most politically charged films in years. It touches on overt imperialism, corporate greed, religious pluralism, environmental degradation, and, most importantly, indigenous rights.

With the release of the new 9 minute longer special edition, James Cameron is tempting us once again to pick up arms and join the Na'vi in their struggles against the mechanized hordes of mankind. If you like the themes, but don't feel like adding to the nearly $3 billion take of Avatar, have are 10 of the most compelling films about real life indigenous struggles.
The movies (with my ratings in parentheses):

10. Little Big Man (8.0)
9. Waterbuster (7.5)
8. Thunderheart (8.5) & Incident at Oglala (7.0)
7. Rabbit-Proof Fence (8.5)
6. The Exiles (9.0)
5. Whale Rider (7.0)
4. Smoke Signals (8.0)
3. The Mission (8.0)
2. Frozen River (7.5)
1. Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance is the only one of these I haven't seen. Since it isn't available on Netflix, it may be a while before I see it.

Of course, most Native-themed movies involve real-life struggles. I could come up another list of 10 movies that I'd rate just as highly as these movies. But Stephen's list is solid, with no real clinkers. If you haven't seen them, get crackin'.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies and Native Documentaries and News.

Below:  Scenes from The Exiles.


dmarks said...

How to see "Waterbuster" ?

Stephen Bridenstine said...

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Courtesy the National Film Board of Canada:

So no excuses everyone- it's free!

Rob said...

I don't know if Waterbuster is available online. You may have to buy or rent it somewhere.