Dances With Wolves
Directed by Kevin Costner
I feel like this movie had really good intentions, but still ended up being quite racist. I suppose it is a step in the right direction, given the racism in past Hollywood westerns. Still, I can't get through this film without cringing.
John Dunbar is wounded in the Civil War, but his bravery in battle allowed the Union army to successfully win the battle. For his heroism, he is allowed to choose his new post. He ends up picking Fort Sedgwick, which is a deserted fort on the Western frontier. He enjoys his solitude, but his tranquillity is interrupted when he encounters the Sioux tribe. The tribe is initially hostile to Dunbar, but they eventually accept him. Dunbar bonds with everyone and becomes a better Native American than the actual Native Americans, and saves the tribe! Hurray for white men!
Okay, I am oversimplifying things a bit. Parts of this film were really fantastic. The cinematography is just beautiful. It reminded me how visually stunning the western genre could be. Like I said, this is certainly a step in the right direction. I mean, we actually had Native Americans playing Native Americans! Other parts of this movie are very frustrating. Of course Kevin Costner would end up with the only white woman in a hundred miles. Of course. The concept of an entire group of people being helpless without one white man is also annoying. We see the same theme in later films like Avatar or The Last Samurai.
Still, there is no denying that it is a gorgeous movie with some breathtaking moments (any of the scenes with buffalo were incredible). But it has some major flaws that are hard to overlook.
Two of the buffalo were borrowed from Neil Young, who apparently has buffalo to spare.
A language coach taught the cast how to say their lines in the Lakota language. To make things easier, the coach did not the "gendered speech" aspect of the language. Many Lakota people saw the film and thought it was funny that the warriors spoke like women.