2009, Neil Diamond, Canada, 96 min.
- Fri, Aug 31st 4:00pm
- Tue, Sep 4th 6:00pm
"Absorbing and amusing…an imaginative journey through the shifting stereotypes Hollywood has used to obscure [American Indian] history." - Mike Hale, The New York Times
Filmmaker Diamond, a Cree from Northern Canada, recalls how, as a child, he and his companions would root for the cowboys - "never realizing we were the Indians." To explore how popular-culture images of Native Americans became so distorted, he sets out on a dual journey. The first is a road trip traversed in his beat-up "res car," as he visits reservations, historical sites, and stereotype-reinforcing summer camps and theme parks. The second is a trip through American movie history, tracing the portrayal of Native Americans from early Edison films through relatively enlightened silent movies, step-backward John Ford westerns, a host of "redface" impersonations, the hippie-influenced "groovy Injuns" of the 1970s (Billy Jack!), and more recent leaps forward like SMOKE SIGNALS and ATANARJUAT: THE FAST RUNNER. Along the way, Diamond encounters activists Russell Means and John Trudell, Ojibwe cultural critic Jesse Wente, filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Clint Eastwood, and famed Oscar-accepter Sacheen Littlefeather. ProRes digital. (MR)
Tuesday lecture by Jon Cates, Associate Professor of Film, Video, New Video and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.