December 22, 2011

Indians in A Warrior's Heart

A snarky look at a recent movie that co-stars Adam Beach:

The First High School Movie for Rich Bullies

By Soren BowieThe Plot

A Warrior's Heart revolves around two private-schooled, white-toothed teens named Conor and Brooklyn as they fall in love over completely surmountable odds. Together, they build a steamy and muscular love triangle between each other and their shared passion for lacrosse. Everything is plaid skirts and money until, look out! Conor's father dies while being a hero in Iraq. Unable to deal with his emotions, Conor acts out by breaking a trophy case and then has to go to a wilderness camp as punishment where he plays wilderness lacrosse with wilderness Indians. Through his time in camp he learns that the exorbitantly wealthy and Native Americans are not so different after all, they are both, for instance, minorities with little-to-no body hair. The story is bold and unapologetic in its exploration of the American teen, acknowledging that every boy has to learn to quell his rage while slowly and painfully learning what it means to be a man, and that every girl really likes boys who play sports.

The Cultural Importance

In order to overcome the sadness of losing his father, Conor has to explore his roots. Well, some roots. Any roots will do, really. Conor is whisked away by his father's Native American war buddy to a camp where he can vent his anger by hitting stuff with tools or kicking over barn frames. Conor is mad but the Indians are wise and soon he's learning to cope with loss through the healing power of wilderness lacrosse. And so lacrosse becomes a great metaphor for the film as a whole. Just as the Native Americans graciously handed the sport to white, East Coast prep schools, their very presence in this film serves only to pass on the minority spotlight to a new and deserving group: The one percent.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see A Warrior's Heart to Be Released.

Below:  The white, blond cast of A Warrior's Heart.

1 comment:

Kari said...

I saw this movie the other day and it goes between half decent to corny to mildly offensive... for example, there is a scene where Adam Beach is at the funeral of a friend and the camera shows him standing and drinking a beer, no one else in the entire room is drinking. I instantly felt like it was "oh an Indian! give him a beer to drink in this shot"

Also they mention the Iroquois tribe which is not a tribe but more like a confederacy.

There are also shots of Eastern Woodlands Indians playing lacrosse and then chasing buffalo in an open plain. Obviously very wrong geographically and tribally.