Celluloid Indians -text

SKU: 0803277903

Jacquelyn Kilpatrick
Grade Levels:
College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
Nebraska Press

Sale price$33.00


Celluloid Indians: Native Americans and Film is an introduction to the representation of Native Americans in Hollywood's films from the 1900s to the late 1990s. Examining about sixty films, the author chronologically places each film in context and describes its content and plot. The origins of the stereotyping and racism found in films are traced back to early literature, dime novels, and Wild West shows of the 19th century. The way Indians and their cultures and issues are portrayed in movies changes with the needs of the dominant culture and its policies. By portraying Indians as less than human and an obstacle to development, American filmmakers merely reflected the times as the federal government makes policy changes that removed Indians from their traditional lands. The book moves from the times of silent films to the cowboy movies of the 1930s to the 1950s. The changes in America during the 1960s and 1970s begin to be reflected in its films. But again filmmakers merely cling to their stereotyped view of Indians. The way Indian women are portrayed in film ranges from the drudge to the princess theme receives brief discussion. While films of the recent past (1980s - 1990s) are somewhat more sympathetic, the author points out their problems as well. The final chapter is devoted to the American Indian aesthetic in contemporary films as the author examines the work of Native filmmakers such as Victor Masayesva, Aaron Carr, George Burdeau, and Chris Eyre. Whether the film is the classic Stagecoach or the animated Disney film Pocahontas, the author has provided readers with a well-written introduction to the world of cinema and how it portrayed Native People. The book contains a filmography, bibliography, index and several black and white stills from selected movies.

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