Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Native American Studies Research Guide: Native American Feature Films

Featured Films, A-C

All Native American Feature Films are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Items may be checked out or watched in-house.

100 Rifles  / Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation ; [produced by marvin Schwarts ; screenplay by Clair Huffaker and Tom Gries ; directed by Tom Gries].  Beverly Hills, CA : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2006, 1997.  1 DVD videodisc (110 min.) PN1995.9.W4 O6 2006 VideoDVD : Yaqui Joe, an Indian, robs a bank to buy guns for his people who are being oppressed by a cruel military government. When he flees to Mexico, he's pursued by an American lawman who has sworn to bring him back. Both become allies and with the help of Sarita, take up the cause of the Indians to help them live in freedom and dignity. Cast : Jim Brown, Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds, Fernando Lamas, Dan O'Herlihy, Hans Gudegast, Michael Forest, Aldo Sambrell, Soledad Miranda.

Apache / United Artists ; a Hecht-Lancaster presentation ; written for the screen by James R. Webb ; produced by Harold Hecht ; directed by Robert Aldrich.  Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment, [2001]  1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Movie Collection 9W9 D0000947 VideoDVD  :  The story of Massai, the last of the fierce Apache warriors, and his single-handed, bloody war against the entire U.S. Army. The former pacifist learns "might makes right" from the oppressive soldiers, and seeks to defend the rights of his tribe after the 1886 humiliating surrender by their chief Geronimo.

Apache Ambush / Columbia Pictures ; written by David Lang ; produced by Wallace MacDonald ; directed by Fred F. Sears.  Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2012]  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 68 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection AR1 D0151872 VideoDVD  : Originally produced as a motion picture in 1955.  Shortly after the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln requests that a former Confederate soldier and a Union officer drive a herd of cattle from Texas to Kansas. During the trip they must overcome their previous biases and work together against Apache warriors and Mexican bandits wanting to steal the repeating rifles on one of the wagons.

Apache Rifles / Admiral Pictures, Inc. ; screen play by Charles B. Smith ; story by Kenneth Gamet and Richard Schayer ; directed by William H. Witney.  [United States] : Kit Parker Films : Distributed by VCI Entertainment, [2010]  1 DVD videodisc disc (92 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection CV3 D0124761 VideoDVD :  Originally released as a motion picture in 1964.  The racist army commander of an Arizona outpost must change his feelings for Native Americans when he falls for a beautiful Apache missionary. His attempts at reformation are frustrated by a band of gold-hungry miners who want to start a war with the Apaches.

Atanarjuat  = The fast runner / Igloolik Isuma Productions presents a National Film Board of Canada co-production ; producers, Paul Apak Angilirq, Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk ; writer, Paul Apak Angilirq ; director, Zacharias Kunuk.  Culver City, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2003, c2002.  1 DVD videodisc (161 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1997.2.A83 A83 2003 VideoDVD : The Fast Runner turns the frozen landscape of northern Canada into the stage for an adventure as sweeping as The Odyssey or Beowulf. Adapted from an Inuit legend, The Fast Runner centers on Atanarjuat, a charismatic young hunter struggling for the affections of Atuat, who has already been promised to Oki, the son of the camp's leader. When Atuat chooses Atanarjuat, Oki seems to accept it, but later events turn his anger and hatred into a murderous spite. This story, as passionate and primal as any film noir, is framed by the daily lives of the Inuit--a struggle for survival that is both simple and vivid, foreign yet immediately understandable. No one in the cast is a professional actor, but the performances are direct and compelling, telling a story that is both epic and intimate.

Apocalypto / Touchstone Pictures presents in association with Icon Productions, an Icon production ; a Mel Gibson film ; produced by Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey ; written by Mel Gibson & Farhad Safina ; directed by Mel Gibson. Burbank, CA : Touchstone Home Entertainment : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, [2007]  1 DVD videodisc (138 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.E79 A6633 2007 VideoDVD :  As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw is a young man who is captured for sacrifice, but flees to avoid his fate. He is taken on a perilous journey to a world that is ruled by fear and oppression, where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the power of his love for his woman and his family he will make a desperate break to return home and to ultimately save his way of life.  Includes an interesting scene when some of the characters see a Spanish galleon for the first time.

The Awakening Land / produced by Robert E. Relyea ; teleplay, James Lee Barrett ; directed by Boris Sagal. [Burbank, Calif.] : Warner Bros. Entertainment : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2010], c1978.  3 DVD videodiscs (333 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3535.I429 A93 2010 VideoDVD  discs 1-3 : Unschooled homesteader Sayward Luckett couldn't read her name if you showed it to her, yet she fell in love with and married agnostic, book-learned frontier lawyer Portius Wheeler. Now it's time to make a life with him in wild, wooded 1790s Ohio Territory.  There will be children, seven in all; joy and hardships aplenty; inconstancies of heart; and the enduring legacy of settling a new land. Based on Conrad Richter's trilogy of novels (he received a Pulitzer Prize for the third), this miniseries nominated for 6 Emmy Awards(r) celebrates the pioneering spirit as it chronicles Sayward's heroic, unadorned life. Elizabeth Montgomery and Hal Holbrook (earning two of those six Emmy nominations) lead a strong cast that includes Jane Seymour and W.H. Macy (his first screen credit).  A few scenes feature interactions between Indians and settlers in the Ohio Territory at the beginning.

Barking Water (2009) / First Look Home Entertainment ; Indion Entertainment Group presents with Indion Production and Dolphin Bay Films ; produced by Chad Burris; written and directed by Sterlin Harjo.   New York : Lorber Films, Cinema Purgatorio 2010.   1 DVD videodisc (78 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 B37 2009 VideoDVD (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection and as streaming video from the Kanopy subscription) :  Sterlin Harjo’s spare, cosmically solemn film “Barking Water” follows the road trip across Oklahoma made by an American Indian man and the woman he loved and left, who has come back at the end of his life to help him die. Their destination: Wewoka, capital of the Seminole nation.  New York Times Movie ReviewTrailer.

The Battle at Elderbush Gulch  : and, The musketeers of Pig Alley / directed by D.W. Griffith.  [United States] : Republic Pictures Home Video ; Davenport, Iowa : Blackhawk Films [distributor, 1986?]  1 VHS videocassette (40 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in.  PN1995.75 .B377 1986 Videocassette : In "The battle of Elderbush Gulch" the arrival of two orphans and their puppies at the Western frontier leads to an Indian uprising.  Cast : Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Harry Carey, Lionel Barrymore, Elmer Booth.  Silent Film.

Before tomorrow  = Le jour avant le lendemain (2008) / Alliance Films and Alliance Vivaflm, Kuruk Cohn Productions and Igloolik Isuma Productions present a flim by Arnait Video Collective ; producer, Stephane Rituit ; screenplay by Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, Susan Avingaq ; directed by Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu.  Montreal, Quebec : Alliance Vivafilm, [2009?]   1 DVD videodisc (93 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  PN1995.9.A3 B44 2009 VideoDVD : Two older women and a young man take an annual trip to an island where they dry fish, expecting to be taken home before the water freezes. When their family fails to return at the expected time, and after the oldest woman passes away, the boy and his grandmother must find ways to cope on their own. Before Tomorrow is the third in a trilogy of films (beginning with The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat) and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, made by contemporary Inuit natives as a way of recapturing a sense of their past. It is a beautiful and intimate story, and the tenderness between grandmother and grandson is palpable and moving, as when she encourages him to speak bravely of his first seal hunt....The tribe that the three travellers belong to is a small and intimate group, who spend their time hunting and travelling, and sharing stories by the fire. An old man tells a story about a strange boat that came from nowhere bearing light-skinned travellers, who shared a strange and bitter drink with them that made them laugh, and then gave them needles as exchange to sleep with their women. Those listening are amused, but can hardly believe it. The implications of the story, that their isolation from the rest of the world is beginning to end, only later become clear.  New York Times Movie Review.

Billy Jack / Warner Bros. present ; screenplay by Frank and Teresa Christina ; produced by Mary Rose Solti ; directed by T.C. Frank.  [Burbank, CA] : Warner Home Video, c1999.  1 DVD videodisc (114 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1997 .B48 1999 VideoDVD :  Tom Laughlin is Billy Jack, a half-breed Indian and ex-Green Beret Vietnam veteran, returns to live in solitude on an Arizona Indian reservation. He is drawn to its progressive Freedom School for troubled youth and to the idealistic woman (Taylor) who runs it. She is the embodiment of the film's pacifist message. When tensions flare between the students and narrow-minded locals who fear what they cannot understand, Billy Jack becomes the school's protector.

Billy Jack 35th Anniversary Ultimate CollectionThousand Oaks, Calif. : Ventura Distribution, [2005].  5 DVD videodiscs (approximately 600 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection CN8 D0057431 VideoDVD  discs 1-5 : Contents: [Disc 1] Born losers (113 min.) -- [Disc 2] Billy Jack (118 min.) -- [Disc 3] The trial of Billy Jack (171 min.) -- [Disc 4] Billy Jack goes to Washington (114 min.) -- [Disc 5] Bonus disc.  The Billy Jack cycle in widescreen with updated commentary. In "Born losers" (1967), Tom Laughlin introduced the character of Billy Jack, a mixed-race Native American, ex-Green Beret, and Vietnam vet who just wants to be left alone. When a vicious motorcycle gang launches a reign of terror on a small town, he finds he must stand up and fight while others hide in fear. Billy Jack kills the leader of the gang, but is accidentally slain by a deputy sheriff. Four years later the character was resurrected for the film "Billy Jack" (1971) in which Billy returns to live in solitude on an Arizona Indian reservation. He is drawn to its progressive Freedom School for troubled youth and to the idealistic woman (Taylor) who runs it. She is the embodiment of the film's pacifist message. When tensions flare between the students and narrow-minded locals who fear what they cannot understand, Billy Jack becomes the school's protector. In "The trial of Billy Jack" (1974), Billy is put on trial for two killings he committed in self-defense while protecting the Freedom School from the small-town Arizona bigots. He is convicted and sent to prison, but the Freedom School thrives under Jean Roberts (Taylor). When Billy Jack is paroled for good behavior, he returns home to explore his tribal spiritual heritage. Meanwhile the Freedom School's television station has broadcast exposés of America's sociopolitical ills which have annoyed local officials. National Guard troops occupy the school's campus, but the students resist. Billy agrees to surrender to the Guard if they withdraw, but the Guard opens fire, killing many students and wounding Billy and Jean. The Guard is finally forced to withdraw from the reservation by the terms of an 1880 treaty, and Billy and Jean vow to rebuild the Freedom School. Includes flashbacks to atrocities committed by American troops in Vietnam. Finally, in "Billy Jack goes to Washington" (1977), Billy is elected as the junior Senator from Arizona in 1976. Arriving in Washington, he discovers that the respected senior Senator from Arizona (Marshall) and a business tycoon (Wanamaker) are secretly planning to build a nuclear plant in the pristine Arizona landscape. Billy Jack mounts a campaign against the plant and, with the support of the American youth movement, saves the country from this environmental menace.

Billy Jack DVD collection / American International, National Student Film Corporation, Taylor-Laughlin Distribution Company.  Billy Jack Enterprises : Distributed by Ventura Distribution, Inc., [2000]   4 DVD videodiscs (508 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection AF2 D0011049 VideoDVD  discs 1-4 : Contents - Born losers (1967) -- Billy Jack (1971) -- Trial of Billy Jack (1974) -- Billy Jack goes to Washington (1977).

Billy Jack Goes to Washington.   Ventura Distribution, 2000.  1 DVD videodisc (2 hr., 35 min.) : sound ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection 9W9 D0000752 VideoDVD : Billy is elected as the junior Senator from Arizona in 1976. Arriving in Washington, he discovers that the respected senior Senator from Arizona (Marshall) and a business tycoon (Wanamaker) are secretly planning to build a nuclear plant in the pristine Arizona landscape. Billy Jack mounts a campaign against the plant and, with the support of the American youth movement, saves the country from this environmental menace.

Black Cloud / Old Post Films in association with Tule River Films present a film by Rick Schroder ; produced by Rick Schroder, David Moore, Karen Beninati, Andrea Schroder ; written and directed by Rick Schroder. [United States] : New Line Home Entertainment, c2005. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 97 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.B69 B55 2005 VideoDVD : Black Cloud is the impressive directorial debut of veteran actor Rick Schroder, who also wrote the drama's insightful script and takes a small part as an unrepentant villain. The story concerns a Navajo boxer named Black Cloud (Eddie Spears), an angry young man from a violent, chaotic family and a proud warrior burdened by a general grudge against white people. Invited to compete for a slot in the U.S. Olympic boxing team, Black Cloud initially rebuffs the idea but is encouraged to reconsider by his manager and mentor (Russell Means). Meanwhile, Black Cloud delivers a well-deserved beating to a rodeo circuit creep (Schroder), which gets him into hot water with the law, and the Navajo woman he loves (Julia Jones) puts distance between them until he can figure out his priorities. As coming-of-age stories go, Black Cloud is persuasive and moving, yet it should be no surprise that Schroder's greatest strength as a filmmaker is drawing very fine performances from his cast. Means, so wonderful in Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans, is again a solid figure of strength and love, while Spears does a beautiful job of capturing a man ready to trade rage for wisdom. Schroder delivers on tough action sequences--rodeo riding, boxing--like a pro who's seen it all, too.

Black Robe  / Samuel Goldwyn Company ; Alliance Communications & Samson Productions[United States] : Vidmark Entertainment, 1992.  1 VHS videocassette (101 min.)  PR9199.3.M617 B5 1992 Videocassette  :  In the 17th century, Father Laforgue, a young, idealistic Jesuit priest nicknamed Black Robe by his Algonquin Indian guides, is assigned to go up river into the Canadian wilderness on a perilous journey to convert the Huron Indians. His young aide and translator, Daniel, falls in love with Annuka, the daughter of the Algonquin chief. Torn between his own desires and ideals of the priesthood, Laforgue's faith is tested, and his life and the outcome of the mission imperiled, as the expedition faces the elements and hostile Indians.  Cast : Lothaire Bluteau, August Schellenberg, Aden Young, Sandrine Holt, Tantoo Cardinal, Frank Wilson, Billy Two Rivers.

Broken arrow (1950) / [presented by] Twentieth Century Fox ; produced by Julian Blaustein ; screenplay by Michael Blankfort ; directed by Delmer Daves.  Beverly Hills, Calif. : Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2007]  1 DVD videodisc (93 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.W4 B765 2007 VideoDVD  : In 1870, when white men and Indians are fighting bitterly, Tom Jeffords (Stewart) strongly believes the Apaches are treated unfairly. After befriending their leader Cochise (Jeff Chandler) and arranging a truce, he is called upon by a U.S. Army general to negotiate a government peace treaty. Though he fulfills his mission, Jeffords soon experiences great tragedy when he, his Indian wife (Debra Paget) and good friend Cochise become targets of a renegade ambush....Broken Arrow wasn't the first Western to express sympathy for the Indian side in the frontier wars (Devil's Doorway came out earlier in 1950 and filed a more scathing brief on the Indians' behalf), but it was Daves's picture that had a decisive impact on popular consciousness and effectively amended the ground rules of the genre.

Buffalo Bill and the Indians : or, Sitting Bull's History Lesson / United Artists ; Dino DeLaurentiis presents the David Suskind production of Robert Altman's absolutely unique and heroic enterprise of inimitable lustre ; screen story and screenplay, Alan Rudolph & Robert Altman ; producer & director, Robert Altman. [Santa Monica, CA] : MGM Home Entertainment, [2001].  1 DVD videodisc (123 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. PN1997 .B844 2001 VideoDVD : From director Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, The Player) comes an uproarious, high-spirited look at "Buffalo Bill" Cody, the legendary Western adventurer. With a fine cast that includes Paul Newman, Harvey Keitel, Burt Lancaster, Joel Grey and Geraldine Chaplin, Buffalo Bill and the Indians is a hilarious yet poignant comedy that shows the Old West as you've never seen it before! Although Buffalo Bill (Newman) has fought Indians and Civil War battles, nothing can prepare him for his newest challenge: show business! His "Wild West Show" is hugely popular, but when he signs a former enemy, Sioux Chief Sitting Bull (Frank Kaquitts), for a featured role, a hysterical clash of cultures reverberates far beyond the boundaries of their sprawling outdoor theater. And the complications only multiply when the troupe discovers it must put on a special command performancefor none other than the President of the United States!

Buffalo Soldiers (1997) / TNT presents a Trilogy Group/Citadel Enterprise productions ; producer, Gordon Wolf ; teleplay, Frank Military, Susan Rhinehart ; story, Jonathan Klein, Frank Military ; director, Charles Haid. Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 120 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.N4 B844 2006 VideoDVD   : Frank Militar and Susan Rhinehart scripted this western, a look back at the post-Civil War Black cavalry troops known as the Buffalo Soldiers, the fierce fighting unit previously covered in a PBS four-parter (1970) and an NBC pilot (1979). In the New Mexico Territory, ex-slave Sgt. Wyatt (Danny Glover) and the Buffalo soldiers arrest Captain Draper (Robert Knott) and other Texas Rangers, but politics mean the Rangers are quietly freed later. Back at Fort Craig, Wyatt reports to anti-black General Pike (Tom Bower) and Col. Grierson (Bob Gunton), a white responsible for assembling and supporting the black regiment. A search is underway for Indian chief Victorio (Harrison Lowe). Indian prophet Nana (Chesley Wilson) is tortured in an effort to get him to reveal Victorio's whereabouts. Determining that Victorio is at Rattlesnake Springs, the Buffalo Soldiers head in that direction for a confrontation. Filmed in the desert of Arizona's Cochise County, Buffalo Soldiers premiered December 7, 1997 on TNT. Also features a Seminole/Black scout.  Want more info?  Try Movie Review Query Engine.

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee  : the Epic Fall of the American Indian / HBO Films presents a Wolf Films/Traveler's Rest Films production ; produced by Clara George ; screenplay by Daniel Giat ; directed by Yves Simoneau.  [New York, N.Y.] : HBO Video ; Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2007.  2 DVD videodiscs (135 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.8.H56 B879 2007 VideoDVD : Begins powerfully with the Sioux triumph over General Custer at Little Big Horn and goes on to center around three powerful men. Charles Eastman is a young, Dartmouth-educated Sioux doctor. Sitting Bull is the proud Lakota chief who refuses to submit to U.S. government policies designed to strip his people of their identity, dignity and sacred land. Senator Henry Dawes is one of the men responsible for the government policy on Indian affairs. While Eastman and schoolteacher Elaine Goodale work to improve life for the Sioux on the reservation, Senator Dawes lobbies President Grant for kinder Indian treatment.  Cast : Aidan Quinn, Adam Beach, August Schellenberg, Anna Paquin, Eric Schweig, J.K. Simmons, Wes Studi, Colm Feore, Gordon Tootoosis.

The Business of Fancydancing : [sometimes going home is the hardest journey of all] / a FallsApart Production ;produced by Larry Estes and Scott Rosenfelt ;written and directed by Sherman Alexie.  New York : Wellspring Media, 2003.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 1023 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  PN1995.9.I48 B875 2003 VideoDVD ; also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection AN5 D0026088 VideoDVD   : Former Spokane Reservation best friends, Seymour and Aristotle have taken different paths when they are brought together for the funeral of an old friend. Both went off to college; one is now a successful poet, the other returned home embittered. Tensions and resentments flare as they meet again

Centennial : The Complete Series / Universal City Studios, Inc. ; executive producer, John Wilder. Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2008.  6 DVD videodiscs (approximately 20 hr, 52 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.8.H56 C4684 2008 VideoDVD  discs 1-6 :  A remarkably ambitious and engrossing project, this 1978 television miniseries ran 26-and-a-half hours, cost a then-enormous $25 million, and involved 4 directors, 5 cinematographers, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 speaking parts. Based on James Michener's panoramic bestseller about the settling of the American West -- as reflected in the history of a fictional town called Centennial, Colorado -- the story begins in the late 18th century and ends with a typical 20th century conflict over land usage. Centennial, however, largely concentrates on various memorable frontiersmen, trappers, Indians, ranchers, cowboys, and farmers from long ago. Richard Chamberlain shines as the pioneer Alexander McKeag, Robert Conrad does some of his best work as French-Canadian Pasquinel, and performances by Alex Karras, Chad Everett, Sally Kellerman, Raymond Burr, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, and Dennis Weaver effectively add to a tapestry of adventure, tragedy, violence, and dubious Western progress. Produced at a time when TV networks were in the throes of acknowledging America's history of racial injustice, the program paints a starkly villainous portrait of opportunists exploiting and destroying Indians in the name of manifest destiny. While the project's great length might make one wary of diving in, Centennial is the sort of carefully paced drama that makes one care about the intertwined destinies of unique characters and how they illuminate America's past.

Cheyenne Autumn, see John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn.

Clearcut.  DVD.  100 minutes  on order :    Deftly blending Native American mysticism with ecological consciousness, suspense and graphic violence Clearcut is a powerful drama of vengeance and ultimately a lesson well-learned. Set in the Canadian woods, the tale begins during a heated conflict between an Indian tribe and an avaricious paper mill that is systematically destroying the land. When it looks as if all else will fail, a militant Indian leader abducts the owner of the mill and takes him on a Deliverance style wilderness odyssey and a harsh crash-course in tribal culture....  When a lawyer loses an appeal to stop a logging company from clear-cutting Native American land, Arthur, an Indian militant drags him and the kidnapped logging mill manager into the forest. The lawyer's empty talk about how the company's greed should be punished is put into brutal action by Arthur, who tortures the manager in allegorical ways mimicking what loggers do to the forest.... They were destroying the land of his heritage...now they must pay!   Facebook page.  German title: Die Roche des Wolfes.

The Complete Billy Jack Collection (Born Losers/Billy Jack/The Trial of Billy Jack/Billy Jack Goes to Washington) )  [S.l.] : Billy Jack Enterprises ; Chatsworth, Cali. : (Packaging) Image Entertainment, Inc., [2009].  4 videodiscs (8 hr., 34 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 B55 2009 VideoDVD discs 1-4 : Experience the legend like never before! These four groundbreaking, action-packed cinematic adventures from `70s pop culture icon Billy Jack feature all of the fast-kicking, politically-aware stories that had audiences cheering and clamoring for me. Influencing action films for decades, the Billy Jack films broke the mold with their unique hero, a half-Indian/half-white ex-Green Beret bent on correcting injustice and hypocrisy to help America reach its full potential. Witness the heroism yourself with this complete four-film set, all newly remastered in high-definition for breathtaking, unsurpassed quality! Includes Born Losers, Billy Jack, The Trial of Billy Jack and Billy Jack Goes to Washington

Coyote Waits (2003) / PBS Pictures co-produced by Granada Television and Wildwood Productions ; producer, Craig McNeil ; teleplay by Lloyd 'Lucky' Gold ; director, Jan Egleson. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, [2004], c2003. 1 videodisc (ca. 107 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3558.I45 C6 2004 VideoDVD : The compelling Coyote Waits is based on one of the Leaphorn and Chee mystery novels by Tony Hillerman (all three have been adapted for television), concerning a partnership, of sorts, between an experienced Navajo detective, Joe Leaphorn (Wes Studi), and a young reservation cop, Jim Chee (Adam Beach). When the latter's colleague and friend ends up shot to death and left to burn in a fiery car, Chee takes time off to evaluate whether he should become a healer instead of a lawman. Either way, he can't proceed without getting to the bottom of the killing and proving or disproving his own original assumption that the murderer is a shaman he found drunk and in possession of a gun near the crime. Working the case from a different angle is Leaphorn, who finds a link between the shaman and a missing university professor on the trail of a major historical find. Beach and Studi are terrific, though the story doesn't bring them together, in the same space, very often. (The two characters do most of their communicating by phone.) Familiar faces in the supporting cast include Gary Farmer (Dead Man), Keith Carradine (Deadwood), and Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves). Sheila Tousey is outstanding in her recurring role as Emma Leaphorn, Joe's wise, no-nonsense wife.

Crooked Arrows  / a Peck Entertainment/Branded Pictures Entertainment in association with The Onondaga Nation and Sports Studio ; a Steve Rash film. Beverly Hills, CA : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, c2012. 1DVD  videodisc (ca. 105 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in..  PN1995.9.S67 C766 2012 VideoDVD : More than just another film about a struggling sports team finding the inspiration to win, Crooked Arrows is a film about lacrosse, the game's Native American roots, and the honor, tradition, and cultural identity that goes along with the game for many of its players. Joe Logan (Brandon Routh), who is half Sunaquot, runs a small casino and is returning home to the reservation in hopes of gaining approval to build a huge new casino on tribal land. The tribal council's approval comes with the stipulation that Joe reexamine his spirit under the direction of his father (Gil Birmingham)--a process that lands him coaching the local high school lacrosse team. A poorly organized team with a losing record and a decided lack of drive and team spirit, the Crooked Arrows seem destined for another losing season unless Joe, a former college lacrosse star, can somehow improve their game. Unfortunately for the team, Joe's heart isn't in his new coaching responsibilities. Joe's interactions with his sister (Chelsea Ricketts), ex-girlfriend (Crystal Allen), grandmother (Kakaionstha Betty Deer), tribal elder Crooked Arrow (Dennis Ambriz), and the team of high school lacrosse players eventually remind him of the rich cultural heritage that he's forgotten. The experience helps Joe find his true spirit as well as the will to do good. In the end, Joe's term as coach changes everything for himself, the lacrosse team, his tribe, and the entire Haudenosaunee nation. The lacrosse playing in the film is exciting and real, but more meaningful is the new respect viewers will have for the culturally rich sport of lacrosse: a game created by Native Americans over a thousand years ago that's considered to heal as well as offer a means of honoring one's gifts and the Creator. Special features include a commentary track with director Steve Rash and coproducers Mark Ellis and Neal J. Powless, a history of lacrosse that includes brief interviews with professional players Brodie Merrill and Zack Greer, a segment about casting, and featurettes on Native American lacrosse and the Onondaga people.

Featured Films, D-K

All Native American Feature Films are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Items may be checked out or watched in-house.

Dance Me Outside (2008) / a Yorktown/Shadow Shows production ; Norman Jewison presents ; a Bruce McDonald movie ; produced by Brian Dennis, Bruce McDonald ; directed by Bruce McDonald ; screenplay by Bruce McDonald, Don McKellar, John Frizzell. Toronto, Ont. : Video Service Corp., [2008] 1 videodisc (ca. 85 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PR9199.3.K443 D3 2008  VideoDVD   (Also available as part of ROVI Movie Collection  : Ryan Black and rest of the cast do a great job of portraying the reservation as it exists today. providing a story about two guys trying to get off 'the rez' by going to school on scholarship (to be mechanics)

Dances With Wolves  / TIG Productions ; Orion Pictures Corporation.  [S.l.] : Orion Home Video ; Chatsworth, Calif. : Distributed by Image Entertainment, 1991.  2 videodiscs (181 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 in.  PS3552.L3487 D36 1991 Video (12 inch) disc :  Rewarded for his heroism in the Civil War, Lt. John Dunbar wants to see the American frontier before it is gone. He is assigned to an abandoned fort, with a Sioux tribe as his only neighbor. They overcome the language barrier and mutual fear and distrust to become friends. His knowledge of their ultimate fate forces him to make a crucial decision. Cast : Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Tantoo Cardinal, Charles Rocket, Robert Pastorelli, Maury Chayken.

Dark Wind (1991) / Le Studio Canal+ and Seven Arts ; screenplay by Neal Jimenez and Eric Bergren ; produced by Patrick Markey ; directed by Errol Morris. Santa Monica, Calif. : Artisan Home Entertainment, p2003. 1 videodisc (111 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3558.I45 D32 2003 VideoDVD : Filmed on location The Dark Wind brings to life the popular hero of several Tony Hillerman best-sellers Navajo Cop Jim Chee. Chee (Lou Diamond Philips) is a student of the old ways who wanted to be a medicine man before he became a lawman. Now as a cop covering the Arizona Territories belonging to the Hopi and Navajo Indians he's torn between both worlds.When the badly mutilated victim of a Navajo skinwalker is found on Hopi Land Chee is suddenly plunged into a world of mystery filled with drug dealers F.B.I. agents witchcraft intertribal politics and revenge.

Dead Man / A Jim Jarmusch Film ; Miramax Films Release.  Burbank Calif. : Miramax Home Entertainment ; Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, [2000]  1 DVD videodisc (121 min.) : sd., b&w. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3554.O2 T85 2000 VideoDVD    (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection) : A young man in search of a fresh start embarks on an exciting journey to a new town never realizing the danger that lies ahead. But when a heated love triangle ends in double murder, he finds himself a wanted man running scared until a mysterious loner teaches him to face the dangers that follow a "dead man."  The mysterious loner is a Native American named Nobody.  Also has a flashback of Nobody's youth when he was captured by white men and displayed in a cage as an exhibit for a traveling show in the East.

Die Söhne der Grossen Bärin  = The sons of Great Bear / ein Film der DEFA Studio für Spielfilme ; Produktionsleitung, Hans Mahlich ; Regie, Josef Mach ; [screenplay by Liselotte Welskopf-Henrich].  Northampton, MA : Icestorm International, Inc. : University of Massachusetts, [2000]  1 VHS videocassette (93 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  PN1995.9.F67 S66 2000 Videocassette : White settlers seek to expel the Dakota Indians from their lands beside the Black Hills for the gold that has been discovered there. Chief Tokei-ihto refuses to move the tribe and battles ensue. This production started the most successful genre of DEFA films in East Germany: "Indianerfilme."  Jiří Vršťala, Gojko Mitic, Rolf Römer.  In German with English subtitles.

The Doe Boy (2001) / Easton Ltd. Partnership presents ; an Anthony Vozza production ; a film by Randy Redroad ; in association with Laszlo Kadar Films [New York, NY] : Wellspring Media ; Santa Monica : Genius Entertainment, c2006. 1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.I48 D64 2002 VideoDVD : This carefully crafted drama is about Hunter, a Cherokee teenager in Oklahoma. His name is ironic-- he longs to be a good hunter and win the approval of his white father, but his first shot as a child brought about humiliation. He mistakenly kills a doe, earning him the childhood nickname, Doe Boy. Set in the 80's, Hunter is caught between many worlds-- the white world and the Indian world, childhood and manhood, the old red road and newly paved road.

Dreamkeeper  / [Hallmark Entertainment ; Sextant Entertainment Group] ; produced in association with RTL Television Germany ; directed by Steven Barron ; written by John Fusco ; produced by Matthew O'Connor, Ron McLeod.   [United States] : Hallmark Home Entertainment, [2004]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 sound disc (4 3/4 in.)  PN1995.9.I48 D74 2004 VideoDVD (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection)  : The Hallmark Hall of Fame production Dreamkeeper is a four-hour television miniseries. Teenager Shane Chasing Horse (Eddie Spears) is a member of the Dog Soldiers gang on the Pine Ridge Reservation. His mom (Sheila Tousey) asks him to take his grandpa Old Pete Chasing Horse (August Schellenberg) to the All Nations Storytelling Powwow in Santa Fe, NM. Shane owes money to some gangsters, so he agrees in order to get out of town. As they drive across South Dakota in a beat-up old Ford, Grandpa tells stories about magical Lakota legends. The stories are re-enacted with the help of computer-generated images. Dreamkeeper was broadcast on ABC in 2003.

Drums along the Mohawk / Twentieth Century Fox presents ; Darryl F. Zanuck's production ; screenplay by Lamar Trotti and Sonya Levien ; directed by John Ford.  Beverly Hills, Calif. : Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2013]   1 DVD videodisc (104 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (8 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 15 cm)   PS3509.D564 D7 2007 VideoDVD (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection)  : Set during the widening struggle for American independence. A newly married couple, homesteading in New York's Mohawk Valley, is driven into a nearby fort by repeated attacks from Indian tribes allied with the British.   Originally released as a motion picture in 1939.

Edge of America (2006) / Showtime presents a Red House Entertainment production ; produced by Willy Holtzman and Chris Eyre ; written by Willy Holtzman ; directed by Chris Eyre. Los Angeles, CA : Showtime Entertainment, [2006] 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 106 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.S67 E344 2006 VideoDVD : From acclaimed director, Chris Eyre, whom People Magazine calls "...the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time" comes this touching and inspirational story about loyalty, friendship and courage. New man in town Kenny Williams (James McDaniel) has just accepted a position as an English professor at the Three Nations Reservation in Utah. Finding it hard to fit in with the tight-knit Native American community, he decides to take on the challenge of coaching the high school girls' basketball team.

The Education of Little Tree  / Paramount Pictures presents in association with Allied Films/Lightmotive ; a Jake Eberts production ; a Richard Friedenberg film ; produced by Jake Eberts ; written and directed by Richard Friedenberg.  Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Pictures, c2002.  1 videodisc (115 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  Rovi Movie Film Collection  AJ8 D0013652 VideoDVD : Little Tree is an 8-year-old Cherokee boy, who, during the time of the depression, loses his parents and goes to live with his mountain dwelling grandparents and learn the wisdom of the Cherokee way of life.

Fish Hawk (1980) / GT Media / GAIAM Americas.  1 DVD videodisc (94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.A3 F574 2006 VideoDVD : A young boy helps an Indian regain his self-respect. Will Sampson is Fish Hawk, an Osage Indian whose self-respect is drowning in a sea of whiskey until he befriends young Corby Boggs. Having lost his wife and son to smallpox many years ago, Fish Hawk gets by on odd jobs for which he’s usually paid with a jug, and Deut Boggs hires him to hunt down a bear that’s killing his stock. Giving up whiskey after it costs him the dog that was his only companion, Fish Hawk spends the winter with the Boggses, but when a wild boar ravages the countryside it puts his friendship with Corby to the test. Blanche Hanalis, who developed the Emmy Award-winning series Little House on the Prairie for television, adapted this family drama, filmed in the beautiful Canadian wild, from Mitchell Jayne’s novel Old Fish Hawk.

Flags of our Fathers / DreamWorks SKG ; Warner Bros. Pictures ; Amblin Entertainment ; Malpaso Productions ; produced by Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Steven Spielberg ; screenplay by William Broyles, Jr. and Paul Haggis ; directed by Clint Eastwood.  Universal City, CA : DreamWorks Pictures ; Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Home Entertainment [distributor], 2007.  1 DVD videodisc (132 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  D743.23 .F53 2007 VideoDVD : Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is an intimate epic with much to say about war and the nature of heroism in America. Based on the non-fiction bestseller by James Bradley (with Ron Powers), this isn't so much a conventional war movie as it is a thought-provoking meditation on our collective need for heroes, even at the expense of those we deem heroic. In telling the story of the six men (five Marines, one Navy medic) who raised the American flag of victory on the battle-ravaged Japanese island of Iwo Jima on February 23rd, 1945, Eastwood takes us deep into the horror of war (in painstakingly authentic Iwo Jima battle scenes) while emphasizing how three of the surviving flag-raisers  became reluctant celebrities – and resentful pawns in a wartime publicity campaign – after their flag-raising was immortalized by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal in the most famous photograph in military history. Ira Hayes (a marine paratrooper and Pima from Arizona) is one of the men who raised the flag in the iconic photograph. He would have a very difficult time dealing with everyday life for the rest of his short life. Cover.

Follow the River / Signboard Hill Productions ; Crown Media ; Sonar Entertainment ; produced by Alvin Cooperman ; teleplay by Jennifer Miller ; directed by Martin Davidson.  [LaCrosse, Wis.] : Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, 2013.  1 DVD videodisc (93 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection AR3 D0153774 VideoDVD (Other copies are available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection) : Mary Ingles is a Virginia homesteader whose family is suddenly captured by Shawnee Indians. Impressed by her courage and strength after being taken captive, the Shawnee leader decides to make Mary his mate. Mary then makes the dangerous decision to escape the Shawnee village with another captive woman. Together they embark on a harrowing journey through the Virginia wilderness toward freedom and home.

Fort Apache [United States] : RKO Home Video, c1985.    1 VHS videocassette (127 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in. PS3503.E4417 F67 1985 Videocassette : In the old west, a military martinet has trouble with his family as well as the Indians.  Cast : John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple.  Note : DVD verfsion on order. Cover.

Four Sheets to the Wind (2006) / First Look Home Entertainment ; Indion Entertainment Group presents with Kish Productions and Dirt Road Productions ; a film by Sterlin Harjo ; produced by Chad Burris, Ted Kroeber ; written and directed by Sterlin Harjo. United States] : First Look Home Entertainment, 2007. 1 DVD videodisc (81 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.I48 F687 2007 VideoDVD : An endearing, comic and eternally universal love and death story set among the modern traditions of the Oklahoma Indian. Starring Cody Lightning as Cufe Smallhill who finds his usually silent father even quieter than usual...dead from an overdose of medication. Without fanfare or hesitation, Cufe sinks his father's body in a pond according to his father's wishes. Without an autopsy or funeral, Cufe's deed creates a crisis in his family as he tries to understand who is father was and what kind of man he himself wants to become. It seems that only one girl really undestands Cufe and may hold the key to understanding the bonds holding a family together.

Geronimo : an American legend / Columbia Pictures ; story, John Milius ; screenplay, John Milius, Larry Gross ; producers, Walter Hill, Neil Canton ; director, Walter Hill.   Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (119 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.W4 G4 2006 VideoDVD  (Also available as part of ROVI Movie Collection)  : Betrayed by the Army's legendary "Indian fighter," General George Crook, Geronimo leads a small band of warriors in escape, but is pursued by a principled officer, a grizzled army scout, and a gung-ho West Point graduate.  Cast : Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Wes Studi.  Also available on a 12-inch laserdisc.

Grey Owl / [presented by] Largo Entertainment in association with Transfilm and Beaver Productions ; a Jake Eberts presentation ; produced by Jake Eberts and Richard Attenborough ; directed by Richard Attenborough.  Culver City, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Video, [1999]  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 118 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Movie Collection AF9 D0002015 VideoDVD : A frontier trapper adopts the ways of the wild, finds love among its people, and fights to protect the land he loves in this film based on the life of Archie Grey Owl.

Haircuts Hurt  / written and directed by Randy Redroad ; produced by Randy Redroad, Hilary Hallett and John Bentham.  New York, NY : Third World Newsreel, 1992.  1 VHS videocassette (10 min.) : sd, col. ; 1/2 in.  PN1997 .R32 1992 Videocassette : A Native American mother and her son discover racism at the local barbershop.

Hell or High Water / directed by David Mackenzie ; written by Taylor Sheridan ; produced by Sidney Kimmel, Peter Berg, Carla Hacken, Julie Yorn. Santa Monica, California : Lionsgate, 2016.  DVD, 122 minutes.  PN1995.9.A3 H45 2016 VideoDVD   :  A big movie with star power filmed in New Mexico with Gil Birmingham, Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Katy Mixon. This is a modern satirical update of a Lone Ranger and Tonto type relationship rife with old couple banter between Birmingham and Bridges. Birmingham’s Comanche-Mexican character gets to lay down a history lesson in about 60 words that any Native actor would love to get the chance to do.

I Will Fight No More Forever  / produced by Stan Margulies ; written by Jeb Rosebrook and Theodore Strauss ; directed by Richard T. Heffron ; a Wolper production.  [United States?] : Solar Home Video ; Santa Monica, CA : Distributed by Xenon Entertainment, [199-?]  1 VHS videocassette (100 min.)  E83.877 .I3 1990z Videocassette : General Howard is ordered by President Grant to move the Nez Percé from their tribal homeland to an Indian reservation in the Northwest Territory. Chief Joseph refuses to give up the land that belongs to his people. Depicts the historical confrontation between Chief Joseph and the Nez Percé Indians and General Howard and the U.S. Cavalry.  Cast : James Whitmore, Sam Elliott, Ned Romero.  Videocassette release of the 1975 motion picture.

Imprint (2007) / Chris Eyre and Linn Productions present in association with Ostrow & Company ; produced by Chris Eyre, Carolyn Linn, Michael Linn ; screenplay by Michael Linn and Keith Davenport ; directed by Michael Linn. [United States] : MTI Home Video, c2009. 1 DVD videodisc (85 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.S8 I66 2009 VideoDVD : Shayla Stonefeather (Tonantzin Carmelo) is the chief protagonist, a Native American Attorney, returning home to the reservation to visit her father, who is facing death. She is initially very ambivalent about this visit. She has allowed herself to be removed from the traditions of her people, preferring to base her beliefs on science, rather than superstition and magic. In 1 hour, 28 minutes, we witness all of her current and past beliefs challenged, as she begins receiving messages from the spirit world. These messages represent violence and death, but who are they intended for---and who are the intended victims. The supporting cast, including Michael Spears (a Tribal Officer), her mother(Carla-Rae Holland) and the Medicine Man (Lakota Chief David Bald Eagle) all give top notch performances, as they assist Shayla on her journey of self discovery.

Into the West  / TNT presents in association with Dreamworks Television ; producers, Larry Rapaport, David A. Rosemont ; directed by Robert Dornhelm, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Jeremy Podeswa, Timothy Van Patten, Mikael W. Watkins, Simon Wincer ; written by William Mastrosimone.  [S.l.] : Dreamworks : TNT, 2005   4 DVD videodiscs (ca. 522 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  PN1992.77 .I58 2005 VideoDVD  discs 1-4 :  Spanning 65 years and several generations, Into the West succeeds as an ambitious compendium of authentic American history. Originally broadcast in the summer of 2005 as a six-part miniseries on TNT, it's the kind of well-intentioned epic that can't possibly satisfy everyone, and some critics complained that it covers too much territory, with characters functioning more as archetypes than full-blooded human beings. Criticisms aside, Into the West admirably achieves the goal of executive producer Steven Spielberg, who envisioned this expansive project as an accurate and corrective history lesson with long-term educational value. Placing important emphasis on the Native American perspective, it follows the Lakota Indians as they are gradually overwhelmed by the white man's irrevocable westward expansion. As conceived by playwright/screenwriter William Mastrosimone, the drama uses two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel--to join the Lakota story with that of the Wheelers, a Virginia family of wheelwrights who witness many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones. From the pioneering explorations of mountain men in 1825 to the tragic massacre of downtrodden Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1891, these parallel storylines encompass migrating wagon trains, the California Gold Rush, construction of the transcontinental railroad, the violence of Quantrill's Raiders, and much, much more.  Through it all, Into the West preserves Lakota customs and language (accompanied by English subtitles) with unprecedented authenticity. In showing how Native cultures were systematically oppressed by the white man's westward capitalism, this tragic tale is inevitably heartbreaking, although it ends on a hopeful note of cultural preservation. Some violent content from the original TNT broadcast has been edited for this DVD release to better accommodate classroom viewing, but Into the West still qualifies as essential viewing for anyone seeking an inclusive dramatization of truthful American history, as opposed to the wildly inaccurate and woefully biased accounts that dominated for decades. With different directors for all six parts, the miniseries is remarkably consistent in tone and vision, its outstanding production values matched by the excellence of a prestigious and well-chosen cast including Irene Bedard (who gives the standout performance in a half-white/half-Lakota role spanning decades), Keri Russell, Skeet Ulrich, Balthazar Getty, Matthew Modine, Graham Greene, Wes Studi, Beau Bridges, Sean Astin, Lance Henriksen, Rachael Leigh Cook, Keith Carradine, and others too numerous to mention. They all contribute to a heartfelt tapestry of bicultural history, both tragic and inspiring, and impressive enough to make its flaws easily forgiven.

Jeremiah Johnson / [presented by] Warner Bros. ; screenplay by John Milius and Edward Anhalt ; produced by Joe Wizan ; directed by Sydney Pollack.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, c2007.  1 DVD videodisc (116 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.W4 J474 2007 VideoDVD  : Director Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford continued their long-lasting collaboration with this 1972 drama set during the mid-1800s, about one man's rugged effort to shed the burden of civilization and learn to survive in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Will Geer is perfectly cast as the seasoned trapper who teaches Jeremiah Johnson (Redford) how to survive against harsh winters, close encounters with grizzly bears, and hostile Crow Indians. In the course of his adventure, Johnson marries the daughter of a Flathead Indian chief, forms a makeshift family, and ultimately assumes a mythic place in Rocky Mountain folklore. Shot entirely on location in Utah, the film boasts an abundance of breathtaking widescreen scenery, and the story (despite a PG rating) doesn't flinch from the brutality of the wilderness. According to one of the Amazon reviewers, this movie is based on the stories told in various books such as Crow Killer; the saga of Liver-Eating Johnson and Life in the Far West.  At any rate the movie shows the complex relationships between whites and Native Americans.

John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn (1964)  / Warner Brothers Pictures presents a John Ford--Bernard Smith Production ; produced by Bernard Smith ; directed by John Ford ; screenplay by James R. Webb.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, c1985.  1 VHS videocassette (158 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. E99.C53 S22 1985 Videocassette : Three-hundred starving Cheyenne men, women, and children forcibly resettled in the barren wastelands of Oklahoma, set out on a desperate 1500-mile trek back to their Yellowstone homeland.  Cast : Starring Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, Sal Mineo, Dolores Del Rio, Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, Arthur Kennedy, James Stewart, Edward G. Robinson.

Johnny Greyeyes  / Nepantla Films ; written and directed by Jorge Manuel Manzano.  New Almaden, Calif. : Wolfe Video, c2001.  1 DVD videodisc (76 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 J6566 2001 VideoDVD  : Johnny Greyeyes is a powerful story of a Native American woman struggling to maintain strength, love and spirit. Since the shooting death of her father, Johnny has spent most of her life in prison. There, she forms a new family and falls in love with her cellmate Lana.

Kings of the Sun / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. ; [presented by] The Mirisch Company ; directed by J. Lee Thompson ; screenplay by Elliott Arnold and James R. Webb ; story by Elliott Arnold ; produced by Lewis J. Rachmil.  Beverly Hills, CA : MGM DVD : Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (108 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.H5 K56 2008 VideoDVD : After a terrible battle leaves young Balam king of his Mayan tribe, he leads his people out of Mexico to escape the rival clan still hunting them. But upon reaching their new home, a hostile Native American tribe attacks and the Mayans manage to capture Black Eagle, the Native American leader. While held prisoner, Black Eagle manages to earn Balam's respect and the kings agree to peace. But when Balam's old rivals arrive looking for a fight, the newly allied kings must take up arms and stand together in order to repel the invading force and save their people.

Feature Films, L-P

All Native American Feature Films are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Items may be checked out or watched in-house.

The Last of His Tribe  / HBO Pictures presents ; a River City production ; a Harry Hook film ; produced by John Levoff and Robert Lovenheim ; written by Stephen Harrigan ; directed by Harry Hook.  [United States] : HBO Video, 2004. 1 DVD videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E90.I8 L377 2004 VideoDVD : A dramatization of the biography of Ishi, a lone survivor of California's Yahi tribe of Native-Americans. The story begins with Ishi's capture by ranchers, his early encounters with the academics who wish to study him, and the slow unveiling of his past to Dr. Alfred Kroeber, an anthropologist who is intent on knowing all of Ishi's secrets.  Cast : Jon Voight, Graham Greene, David Ogden Stiers, Jack Blessing, Anne Archer.

The Last of the Mohicans  / Twentieth Century Fox presents ; screenplay by Michael Mann and Christopher Crowe ; produced by Michael Mann and Hunt Lowry ; directed by Michael Mann.    [Beverly Hills, Calif.] : FoxVideo, [1993].  1 VHS videocassette (114 min.)  PN1997 .L378 1993 Videocassette : The love of Hawkeye, rugged frontiersman and adopted son of the Mohicans, and Cora Munro, aristocratic daughter of a British colonel, blazes amidst a brutal conflict between the British, the French and Native American allies in colonial America.  Cast : Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Jodhi May, Russell Means, Wes Studi.  Earlier 1977 version also available.   Note:  The library owns many versions of the Last of the Mohicans (do a title search).

The Last of the Mohicans  / Twentieth Century Fox presents ; screenplay by Michael Mann and Christopher Crowe ; produced by Michael Mann and Hunt Lowry ; directed by Michael Mann.    [United States] : 20th Century Fox, 2010, ©1992.  1 DVD videodisc (117 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  PS1408 .A1 2010 VideoDVD   : The love of Hawkeye, rugged frontiersman and adopted son of the Mohicans, and Cora Munro, aristocratic daughter of a British colonel, blazes amidst a brutal conflict between the British, the French and Native American allies in colonial America.  Cast : Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Jodhi May, Russell Means, Wes Studi.

Little Big Man  / a Cinema Center Films presentation ; a Millar-Penn production ; produced by Stuart Millar ; writer, Calder Willingham ; directed by Arthur Penn.  Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Home Entertainment, 2003, c1970.  1 DVD videodisc (139 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3552.E719 L52 2003 VideoDVD : Jack Crabb is 121 years old. And he's done it all. He's been a full-fledged Cheyenne, an Indian fighter, a snake oil merchant, master gunman, drinking buddy of wild Bill Hickok, colleague of Buffalo Bill, and is the only survivor of Custer's Last Stand. Crabb is either the Old West's most neglected hero or the biggest liar ever to cross the Mississippi. Little Big Man is Jack Crabb's story.  Cast : Dustin Hoffman, Martin Balsam, Jeff Corey, Chief Dan George, Faye Dunaway.  Also available as VHS recording.

A Man Called Horse .   Beverly Hills, CA : Fox Video, c1993.  1 12-inch videodisc (114 min.)  PS3519.O233 I52 1993 Video (12 inch) disc : Richard Harris is a man called "Horse," the British aristocrat who flees civilized England and in turn embraces the wild, nomadic culture of the American Sioux Indians  Cast: Richard Harris, Dame Judith Anderson, Jean Gascon, Manu Tupou, Corinna Tsopei.

The Mission (1986)  / Warner Bros., Goldcrest and Kingsmere present an Enigma production ; directed by Roland Joffé ; produced by Fernando Ghia and David Puttnam ; original story and screenplay by Robert Bolt.  Burbank, Calif. : Warner Home Video, c2003.  2 videodiscs (125 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 M575 2003 VideoDVD : Robert De Niro is Rodrigo Mendoza, a wealthy adventurer who makes a fortune as a mid-eighteenth-century slave trader, capturing Guarani Indians in Paraguay and selling them for a huge profit to the local governor. Mendoza's life takes a turn for the worse, however, when he learns that the woman he loves, Carlotta (Cherie Lunghi), has fallen in love with his younger brother, Felipe (Aidan Quinn). And when he discovers them in bed together, he loses control and kills his brother in a swordfight. Afterwards, however, Mendoza is consumed with extreme guilt and he becomes a Jesuit postulant after meeting Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons). But Father Gabriel, who has always cared for the natives and resented the slave traders, is at first unsure if Mendoza's desire to do penance and achieve redemption is sincere. Mendoza fianlly completes his penance after suffering many hardships, and he helps Gabriel teach the Indians about Christianity. As the years pass, Mendoza and Gabriel become close if somewhat wary companions, running the isolated mission above Iguacu Falls together while allowing each other plenty of personal space....Everything changes, though, when in 1750 Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Madrid, which redefines their territorial borders in the Americas. The end result of the treaty is that Spain (which has forsaken slavery) delivers the Indian land to Portugal (where slavery remains legal). To avoid the Jesuit order being expulled from Portugal, all Jesuit missions in South America are ordered closed by the Pope, which means the Indians living there will be abandoned to the slave traders. The Guarani Indians are determined to stay and fight for the mission they've come to love, and this deeply troubles Mendoza. Despite his Jesuit vow of practicing nonviolence, he knows that with his past fighting skills as a mercenary he's the only one who can teach the Guaranis to defend themselves. Gabriel also stays, but for a different reason. The end result of the inevitable battle is predictable but nevertheless is devastating to watch.  Although this film depicts South America, it is included since it also because it also shows the devasting impact of European-Native American interactions.

The New World / New Line Cinema presents ; produced by Sarah Green ; written and directed by Terrence Malick.  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 135 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in  PN1995.9.H5 N49 2006 VideoDVD : Newcomer Q'orianka Kilcher, acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick brings to life the classic true tale of Pocahontas and her relationship with adventurer John Smith set during the turbulent beginnings of America.  The tale of the English settlers at Jamestown gets a wonderful retelling here revealing the hunger, struggle, disease, hardship, cold, and superstition that the early settlers encountered in the new world. I actually think this film does a wonderful job of revealing the wonderful paradise that was the new world before the arrival of the Europeans. The native people here are shown as primitive aboriginals, complete with tatoos, rituals, a power hierarchy and complex societies. The views of Virginia are stunning in their beauty, what a wonderful sight Virginia must have been to these early European arrivals, and how dreadful their lives could become as they learned how to survive in a world full of plants, insects, and animals they had never encountered before. The film gets 4 stars for giving us a glimpse of what the encounters between the old and new world must have been like for all parties involved. The love story between John Smith and Pocahontas is dream-like, a world not unlike Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Yet the story is one of JOhn Smith's betrayal of Pocahontas and the incredible price she pays for her loyalty to him. Yet the film is also one of her recovery from this obsessive love so that she is free to accept the love of her husband, John Rolfe. Colin Farrell does a great job of playing the brash, brave, adventurer John Smith. Smith sees the time he and Pocahontas were in love in her father's village as a dream that he must leave behind. She on the other hand saw it as a reality that she wished to pursue to the end.  Cover.

Older Than America (2008) / MPI Home Video.  1 DVD videodisc (102 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 O55 2010 VideoDVD : Kill the Indian. Save the Man. Bradley Cooper stars in this mystery about a geologist tracking down the epicenter of an earthquake that leads him to an Indian reservation. Actress Georgina Lightning makes her co-writing and directing debut with this passion project while also starring alongside Cooper as Rain, a woman beset by troubling visions from the past. Both their journeys lead to an abandoned schoolhouse and shocking secrets secrets that corrupt politicians and businessmen want to pave over. But the spirits won t be silenced. Like the Oscar-nominated Doubt and acclaimed Canadian drama The Boys Of St. Vincent, this powerful film turns a painful chapter of US history into a compelling, piercing drama. The award-winning cast also includes Adam Beach, Chris Mulkey and the great Wes Studi.

On the ice / Silverwood Films presents in association with whitewater films & goldcrest films a treehead films production ; written and directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean ; produced by Cara Marcous [et al.]  [Northridge, Calif.] : Naedomi, [2012]  1 DVD videodisc (96 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.S87 O53 2012 VideoDVD : On the snow covered Arctic tundra, at the top of the world, two teenagers try to get away with murder. In this engrossing and suspenseful feature film debut by filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers go about their lives in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town. Early one morning, on a seal hunt with another teenager, an argument between the three boys quickly escalates into a tragic accident. Bonded by their dark secret, the two best friends are forced to create one fabrication after another in order to survive. The shocked boys stumble through guilt-fueled days, avoiding the suspicions of their community as they weave a web of deceit. With their future in the balance, they are forced to explore the limits of friendship and honor.

The Only Good Indian / TLC Productions ; directed by Kevin Willmott ; written by Thomas L. Carmody ; produced by Thomas L. Carmody, Rick Cowan, Matt Cullen, Greg Hurd, Scott RIchardson, Kevin Willmott.  [Kansas?] : TLC Productions, c2009.  1 DVD videodisc (114 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 O57 2009 VideoDVD : Set in Kansas during the early 1900s, a teenaged Native American boy (newcomer Winter Fox Frank) is taken from his family and forced to attend a distant Indian 'training' school to assimilate into White society. When he escapes to return to his family, Sam Franklin (Wes Studi), a bounty hunter of Cherokee descent, is hired to find and return him to the institution. Franklin, a former Indian scout for the U.S. Army, has renounced his Native heritage and has adopted the White Man's way of life, believing it's the only way for Indians to survive. Along the way, a tragic incident spurs Franklin's longtime nemesis, the famous 'Indian Fighter' Sheriff Henry McCoy (J. Kenneth Campbell), to pursue both Franklin and the boy.  Trailer.;

The Other Conquest  = La otra conquista (1998) / Union Station Media ; Carrasco & Domingo Films presents an Alvaro Domingo production of a Salvador Carrasco film ; produced by Alvaro Domingo ; written, directed and edited by Salvador Carrasco.  [Englewood, Colo.] : Distributed by Starz Home Entertainment, [2007], c1998.  1 DVD videodisc (105 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.F67 O75 2007 VideoDVD :  Mexico, 1521. The Spanish army of Hernando Cortés has swept through the New World forcing their religious beliefs on the brave Aztec people. A skillful Aztec scribe, who survived the Massacre of the Temple in 1520, spends years trying to preserve the rites and customs of his people. The Spanish army would conquer their land, but not the soul of the Aztec people.  Amazon.com description : For some reason the Spanish Conquest, no doubt one of the most important interchanges of culture in history, has not received the kind of cinematic attention as other events such as Rome, Christ or even Vietnam. Mexican director Salvador Carrasco does us a great service here with "The Other Conquest," a visually stunning, powerful take on Hernan Crotes' conquest of Mexico and the consequences of the event which still affect us to this day....Unlike many historical epics such as "Gladiator," where substance and character take a back seat to spectacle and bombast, "The Other Conquest" is impressive because of its emotional depth and dramatic qualities. Damian Delgado (Men With Guns) gives a riveting performance as Topiltzin, an Aztec scribe who sees his world burn down as foreign invaders raid the Aztec lands, destroy their gods and impose the new religion of Catholicism. Representing the Catholic church is Friar Diego (Jose Carlos Rodriguez) who attempts with all his might to turn Topiltzin into a model Catholic indian. The scenes between these two are sharply written and Carrasco's script has a clear understanding of the spiritual, intellectual struggle of one religion trying to wipe out another one. The other two notable performances are by Elpidia Carrillo (Salvador, Predator) as Tecuichpo, daughter of the slain Aztec Emperor Moctezuma, and Inaki Aierra as the famed conqueror Hernan Cortes (Aierra is the spitting image of the controversial figure). Both also bring passionate intensity to the roles, one could even say raising the bar for the kinds of performances you usually find in historical epics....There is excellent conflict in the story because this is not a tale of revenge or one army trying to destroy another, here we have actual human beings caught in the tide of history, a history that is deeply touching their personal lives and well-being. This is the only film I can recall that captures on a deep human level the results of the Spanish Conquest. We don't get cartoon characters here. The lush cinematography adds to the effect with it's rich colors and gritty tones. Jorge Reyes and Samuel Zyman's beautiful score is hypnotic and elevates the material, it is a potent mix of classical and indigenous music that transports us to the era of the story with full effect.

The Outlaw Josey Wales / Warner Bros. ; a Malpaso Company film ; produced by Robert Daley ; screenplay by Phil Kaufman, Sonia Chernus ; directed by Clint Eastwood.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, ©2008, 1976.  1 DVD videodisc (136 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.W4 O87 2010 VideoDVD  (Also available as part of ROVI Movie Collection) : A peaceful farmer turns Confederate renegade to avenge the deaths of his wife and child at the hands of bandits-turned-Union sympathizers.  Native American historical trauma was represented realistically for the first time in a major film in the Outlaw Josey Wales.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) / directed by Clint Eastwood ; a Malpaso Company Film.  Burbank, Calif. : Warner Home Video, 1987. 2 videodiscs (LaserVision CLV) (136 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 in. PN1995.9.W4 O87 1987 Video (12 inch) disc : Classic Clint Eastwood movie, featuring Chief Dan George.  Josey Wales makes his way west after the Civil War, determined to live a useful and helpful life. He joins up with a group of settlers who need the protection that a man as tough and experienced as he is can provide. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with you, and Josey is a wanted man.

Pathfinder / Vinland Productions Canada, Inc. ; Phoenix Pictures ; Dune Entertainment ; Major Studio Partners ; produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Marcus Nispel ; screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis ; directed by Marcus Nispel.  Beverly Hills, Calif. : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2007.  1 DVD videodisc (99 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.A3 P3844 2007 VideoDVD : The heroic story of a young Norse man raised by Native American Indians who wages a personal war against the Vikings that barbarically raided his tribe.  Cast : Karl Urban, Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood, Jay Tavare, Clancy Brown, Nathaniel Arcand, Ralf Moeller, Kevin Loring.  Pathfinder Scenes.

Pearl / the Chickasaw Nation in association with Media 13 ; director, King Hollis ; producer, David Rennke ; screenplay Donna Carlton, Margaret Reynolds, Tom Bailey.  [Ada, OK ] : The Chickasaw Nation, c2010.  2 DVD videodiscs : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.F58 P43 2010 VideoDVD  discs 1-2 : Beautifully filmed, impeccably portrayed, this feature film brings to life the endearing story of Pearl Carter Scott, a Chickasaw aviatrix. Pearl, a spunky 12-year-old, soars as she befriends world-renowed pilot Wiley Post which introduces her to a love for flying and becoming the youngest pilot in American aviation history.  Trailer.

Pocahontas / Walt Disney Pictures presents ; written by Carl Binder, Susannah Grant and Philip LaZebnik ; produced by James Pentecost ; directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg. [United States] : Walt Disney Home Entertainment ; Burbank, CA : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, [2005]  2 DVD videodiscs (84 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.   PN1997.5.P57 P57 2005 VideoDVD  DVD 1-2 c.2.  : Pocahontas -- along with her playful pals Meeko and Flit -- relies on the guidance of her loving and wise Grandmother Willow when English settlers arrive on the shores of their village. Her chance meeting with the courageous Captain John Smith leads to a beautiful friendship that bridges the gap between two cultures, and changes history.  Special features: Disc 1. Two versions of the film (10th anniversary ed. & Original theatrical release); audio commentary (on 10th Anniv. version); Disney's art project (build a drum and create a dreamcatcher); "Follow your heart" set-top game; sing-along songs; trailers. Disc 2. The making of Pocahontas (28 min.); early production reel, storyboard-to-film comparison, production progression; Design; The music of Pocahontas, "if I never knew you" music video & the making of; deleted scenes; trailers; Premiere in the Central Park; Multi-language reel; publicity gallery.

Pocahontas  / Walt Disney Pictures presents ; written by Carl Binder, Susannah Grant and Philip LaZebnik ; produced by James Pentecost ; directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg.  [United States] : Walt Disney Home Entertainment ; Burbank, CA : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, [2005].  2 DVD videodiscs (84 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. Special Collections Comic Art  PN1997.5.P57 P57 2005 VideoDVD  1-2 :  Legendary tale of Native American Pocahontas and her unlikely romance with British Captain John Smith.

Powwow Highway  / Handmade Films ; executive producers, George Harrison & Denis O'Brien ; written by Janet Heaney and Jean Stawarz ; produced by Jan Wieringa ; directed by Jonathan Wacks.  [S.l.] : Cannon Video Handmade Films : Distributed by Warner Bros, Inc., c1989.  1 VHS videocassette (91 minutes)  PN1997 .P69 1989 Videocassette  (Also available as DVD) :  With nothing in common but their Native American heritage, two men begin a cross-country adventure filled with comedy and drama.  Cast : A. Martinez, Gary Farmer, Amanda Wyss. 

Featured Films, R-Z

All Native American Feature Films are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Items may be checked out or watched in-house.

The Return of a Man Called Horse  / United Artists Pictures Inc. ; a Sandy Howard/Richard Harris production ; an Irvin Kershner film ; written by Jack Dewitt ; produced by Terry Morse, Jr. ; directed by Irvin Kershner. [Santa Monica, CA] : MGM Home Entertainment Inc., 2001. 1 DVD videodisc (2 hr. 6 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3519.O233 R47 2001 VideoDVD :  In this sequel to A Man Called Horse, Richard Harris is back as a blue-blooded Englishman who returns to America to help the Indians who had once adopted him. Seeing their lands being taken over by greedy whites, he joins forces with the Sioux tribe to help them defend their birthborn rights.

Running Brave.  Burbank, CA : Englander Productions, 1983.  1 VHS videocassette (106 minutes)  PN1995.9.I48 R8 1983 Videocassette : Story of real-life Olympic champion Billy Mills. From life on an impoverished South Dakota Indian reservation to his phenomenal upset victory at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Mills constantly challenged the barriers of culture and his own deeply-rooted insecurities. Cast: Robby Benson, Pat Hingle, Claudia Cron, Jeff McCracken, August Schellenberg, Denis Lacroix, Graham Greene, Michael J. Reynolds.

Rustlers of Red Dog / Johnny Mack Brown, Joyce Compton, Walter Miller.  Vci Video, 2005.  1 videodisc (3 hr., 56 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection CM6 D0051264 VideoDVD   : Originally released in 1935.  The story involved three friends journeying across the west and their adventures with rustlers, Indian attacks and outlaw gangs. Cast included Chief Thundercloud, Chief Many Treaties and Olympian athlete Jim Thorpe playing Chief Scarface.

Sacagawea  : Heroine of the Lewis and Clark Journey / produced by Encounter Video, Inc., Portland, Orego.  Chicago, IL : Questar, [2004]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 80 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  F592.7.S123 S33 2004 VideoDVD : The most important expedition in U.S. history might have failed but for the heroism of this teenage girl. She was an expectant mother, but she endured every hardship these seasoned soldiers experienced. Without her, the Corps of Discovery would have failed. This program re-enacts her journey in her own words. Taken captive as a child during a raid, adopted into the tribe of her captors, and then married off, her adventures have only just begun. After Lewis & Clark journey to her village on assignment from President Jefferson, Sacagawea joins the expedition in seeking a northwest passage to the sea. Digging up edible roots and negotiating for horses, she saves the Corps of Discovery, time and time again. With live-action cinematography, the Lewis & Clark journey is beautifully reenacted. The program carefully traces the journey from St. Louis to Fort Mandan in North Dakota, over the Rockies to the Pacific and back. This is the Lewis & Clark journey, in her words. Extra Feature: The Living Legacy of Lewis & Clark - They shaped America. Through thousands of miles of raw wilderness on their voyage of discovery, the Captains touch on areas that are national parks today. One of those parks is counted among the natural wonders of the world. In these natural parks, we see the untamed, unspoiled America that they saw. Here, we make our own voyage of discovery.

The Searchers  / Warner Bros. Pictures presents the C.V. Whitney picture ; screenplay by Frank S. Nugent ; directed by John FordBurbank, CA : Warner Home Video, [1997]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 119 min.)  PS3523.E53 S4 1997 VideoDVD : Wayne plays ex-Confederate soldier Ethan Edwards, an Indian-hater who believes more in bullets than words. He's out to find his young niece, who's been taken captive by the renegade Comanches who massacred her family.  Cast : John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood.

Seminole (1953)  [Brazil] : Classic Line, [2007?]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 86 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1997 .S372 2007 VideoDVD : Rock Hudson stars in Seminole as a 19th-century army officer Lance Caldwell. Born and raised in Florida, Caldwell is assigned to Fort King in the Everglades. Immediately clashing with his commanding officer Major Dade (Richard Carlson), Caldwell opposes Dade's plans to wipe out the Seminole Indians. The fact that Caldwell was the boyhood chum of Seminole chief Osceola (Anthony Quinn) is all the more reason to resist Dade's genocidal policies.  After a deadly confrontation which costs dozens of lives on both sides, Osceola rescues Caldwell, whereupon the latter is court-martialed. Later on, Osceola comes to Fort King to talk peace, and is promptly killed by persons unknown. An attempt is made to frame Caldwell for the killing, but the truth eventually prevails. In the tradition of Broken Arrow, Seminole is essentially sympathetic to the Indian's point of view. Co-starring in the film are Barbara Hale as the requisite heroine and Lee Marvin as a surly sergeant.

Sioux City (1994) / Cabin Fever Films, Inc. ; in association with Facet Films, Inc. ; presents a Rux-Ubell production ; a Lou Diamond Phillips film ; directed by Lou Diamond Phillips ; produced by Brian Rix & Jane Ubell ; written by L. Virginia Browne. [Needham, MA] : Echo Bridge Home Entertainment ; [s.l.] : Platinum Disc Corporation, c2005. 1 DVD videodisc (102 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.I48 S5689 2005 VideoDVD : The Golden Award Winner for Best Theatrical Feature Film at the Houston International Film Festival, 1994, seeks (through a fictional story) to address contemporary Native American issues (within the constraints of a very limited budget), including issues and problems lingering from decades of legally and illegally placing Native American children in Non-Native American homes--almost universally without being told about, let alone taught about, their Native American heritage. Other issues touched upon in "Sioux City" include on-going differences and bigotry in cities adjacent to Indian Reservations, acceptance and treatment of Native Americans living off reservation, the inherent conflict for Native Americans concerning staying on the reservation, where employment, "health care," "living conditions," education, and other social aspects, are limited in comparison to "moving off" the reservation. This issue is particularly potent given the attitudes of most non-Native Americans, along with many Native Americans long detached from reservation life. That is, most people just plain cannot understand why anyone would want to "live on the reservation." The sticky misunderstanding of traditional Native American rituals and ceremonies, give-aways, crime, and "tribal" membership are also touched upon.

Skins  / Grandview Pictures, First Look Media in association with Starz Encore Entertainment, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and Jon Kilik presents a film by Chris Eyre ; producer, Jon Kilik ; writer, Jennifer D. Lyne ; director, Chris Eyre.  [United States] : First Look Home Entertainment, [2003], 2002.  1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 S55 2003 VideoDVD : In the shadow of Mt. Rushmore, lies one of the poorest counties in America, The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. For police officer Rudy Yellow Lodge, the painful legacy of Indian existence is brought home every night as he locks up drunk and disorderly Indians, including his own brother. Rudy's frustration leads him to take the law into his own hands. Ultimately, Rudy is able to honor his big brother, and his people with a life-affirming act of defiance.  Cast : Graham Greene, Eric Schweig, Yellow Pony Pettibone, Gary Farmer, Michael Spears, Chris Eyre, Leonard George, Noah Watts, Michelle Thrush.

Skinwalkers (2002) / an American Mystery! special, a production of Wildwood Enterprises and Granada Entertainment in association with WGBH Boston for the Public Broadcasting Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Carlton International ; producer, Craig McNeil ; screenplay writer, James Redford ; director, Chris Eyre. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, c2004. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 97 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3558.I45 S5 2004 VideoDVD : After the disappointing Dark Wind, executive producer Robert Redford does Tony Hillerman justice with this authentic and ideally cast adaptation of the 1986 bestseller that first paired Lt. Joe Leaphorn (Wes Studi of Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans) and Officer Jim Chee (Adam Beach of Smoke Signals and Windtalkers) of the Navajo Tribal Police. Leaphorn, a veteran urban cop recently returned to the reservation, is Scully to Chee's Mulder as they investigate a series of murders seemingly committed by a "skinwalker," a shape-shifting evil spirit. Skinwalkers was the first presentation of the venerable PBS Mystery series to be set on United States soil. For Hillerman fans, and those new to his intimately observed world, this is good medicine.

Smoke Signals  / Miramax Films ; a ShadowCatcher Entertainment production ; directed by Chris Eyre ; screenplay by Sherman Alexie ; produced by Larry Estes and Scott Rosenfelt.  Burbank, CA : Miramax Home Entertainment : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, [1999], c1998.  1 DVD videodisc (89 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 S66 1999 VideoDVD  : Critically acclaimed as one of the best films of the year, Smoke Signals was also a distinguished winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Though Victor and Thomas have lived their entire young lives in the same tiny town, they couldn't have less in common. But when Victor is urgently called away, it's Thomas who comes up with the money to pay for his trip. There's just one thing Victor has to do: take Thomas along for the ride...

The Snow Walker  (2003) / Infinity Media presents a William Vince/Robert Merilees production, a film by Charles Martin Smith ; produced by Robert Merilees, William Vance ; written and directed by Charles Martin Smith.  Los Angeles, Calif. : First Look Home Entertainment, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PR9199.3.M68 S58 2005 VideoDVD  : When the plane carrying Charlie Halliday, a maverick bush pilot and a sick, young, Inuit woman, Kanaalaq, crashes hundreds of miles from civilization, they are at the mercy of nature’s worst. While search parties try to find the downed plane Charlie decides to trek over land, promising the woman that he will return with help. Despite her weakened condition, she follows Charlie and nurses him back to health when insects, cold and starvation threaten to kill him shortly after he leaves. Kanaalaq teaches him the skills he will need to survive and he comes to respect her wisdom and love her valiant spirit as they each set out into the wilderness. Each will find a startling and solitary destiny in the beautiful and stark tundra. An adventure story that will move and inspire you as it touches your heart.

The Song of Hiawatha  / Telegenic Programs, Inc. in association with Lynch Entertainment and Hallmark Entertainment presents.  La Crosse, WI : Platinum Disc Corp., 2005.  1 DVD videodisc (114 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PS2267 .A14 2005 VideoDVD : As Hiawatha rises from his nation's youngest war chief to the People's mightiest leader, his reputation spreads across the wilderness, but the winds of change are stirring through the forest.  Cast : Graham Greene, Litefoot, Irene Bedard, Russell Means, Sheila Tousey, Adam Beach.

Squanto  : a Warrior's Tale / Walt Disney Pictures presents ; directed by Xavier Koller ; written by Darlene Craviotto ; produced by Kathryn F. Galan.  Burbank, Calif. : Walt Disney Home Entertainment : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2004, c1994.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 102 min.) PN1995.9.I48 S68 2004 VideoDVD : Squanto, a young warrior abducted from his homeland and enslaved, must battle impossible hazards on a desperate journey home.  Cast : Adam Beach, Eric Schweig, Michael Gambon, Nathaniel Parker, Alex Norton, Sheldon Peters Wolfchild, Stuart Pankin, Donal Donnelly, Mandy Patinkin.

Stolen Women. Captured Hearts.  88 minutes.  Available for the moment from YouTube.  Stolen Women: Captured Hearts is a 1997 made-for-television film directed by Jerry London. The film stars Janine Turner as Anna Morgan, a woman living on the plains of Kansas in 1868 who is kidnapped by a band of Lakota Indians. It also stars Patrick Bergin, Jean Louisa Kelly, Michael Greyeyes, and Rodney A. Grant. The story is loosely based on the real Anna Morgan who was taken by Cheyenne Indians for approximately one year before being returned to her husband

Tales of Wonder I ; Tales of Wonder II : Traditional Native American Fireside Stories / executive producer, Steven R. Heape ; director, Chip Richie. Dallas, TX : Rich-Heape Films, [2004] 1 DVD videodisc (120 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E99.C5 T33 2004 VideoDVD : Fireside stories told in the Native American tradition by an acclaimed storyteller and linguist and accompanied by a flutist. A talented sketch artist creates drawings as the stories unfold.

Tell Them Willie Boy is Here (1969) / a Universal picture ; a Jennings Lang presentation ; a Philip A. Waxman production ; produced by Philip A. Waxman ; written and directed by Abraham Polonsky. Universal Pictures, 2010.  DVD-R  98 minutes. PN1995.9.W4 T43 2009 VideoDVD : Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, a modern western classic, is based on the true story of a Pauite Indian, named Willie Boy (Robert Blake) and his bride, Lola Boniface (Katharine Ross) who become the objects of the last great Western manhunt after he kills her father in a "marriage by capture." The manhunt, led by Sheriff Christopher Cooper (Robert Redford) turns into a media circus when President Taft comes to visit the area and a mishap becomes twisted by the newspapers of the day. Released in 1969, Tell Them Willie Boy is Here was a triumph for Redford and was called by Time Magazine, "A subtle, intense document of racial persecution that stands as one of the finest films of the year."

A Thief of Time (2004) / a Wildwood Enterprises, Carlton, Granada production ; producer, Craig McNeil ; teleplay by Alice Arlen ; directed by Chris Eyre. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video ; Hollywood, Calif. : Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, c2005. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 95 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3558.I45 T49 2005 VideoDVD : An anthropologist, Ellie Friedman-Bernal, is suspected of selling ancient Anasazi pottery on the black market. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee are sent to investigate. Ellie's hyper-competitive colleagues, Maxie Davis and Randy Elliott, claim to be clueless about her whereabouts. Hailing from a hard-scrabble farm, Maxie is an improbable success at the academic game, while East-Coast patrician Randy is more at home as a scholar. Ellie's cryptic notes lead Leaphorn and Chee to preacher/fencer Slick Nakai, and his musician/accomplice Pete Etcitty, who later turns up dead--along with another pot poacher. Then there are the rich, unsavory collectors Richard DuMont and local rancher Harrison Houk, who was the last person to see Ellie alive. If the mystery is to be solved, some nettlesome questions need to be answered: Why did Ellie trade a saddle for a kayak just before she disappeared? Why does the crippled Houk himself own a kayak? And what's that hunched-over form in the shadows that looks strangely like Kokopelli, the flute-playing Navajo spirit?  Also includes bonus film, Thieves of Time featuring Tony Hillerman, tracing the history of our fascination with Indian burial grounds.

A thousand roads / a Seven Arrows/Telenova Production ; produced by Scott Garen and Barry Clark ; directed by Chris Eyre.  [Washington, DC] : National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (40 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.I48 T56 2005 VideoDVD : The lives of four Native Americans take a significant turn as they confront the crises that arise in a single day.

Thunderheart  / TriStar Pictures presents a Tribeca/Waterhorse production ; a Michael Apted Film ; written by John Fusco ; produced by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, John Fusco ; directed by Michael Apted.  [Burbank, Calif.] : Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1998, c1992.  1 DVD videodisc (119 min.)  PN1995.9.D4 T494 1998 VideoDVD :  A young, part-Sioux FBI agent is sent to solve a murder on an Indian reservation. There he meets the irreverent local sheriff and the tribe's religious leader, who helps the agent begin to understand his lost heritage. Gradually, he comes to believe that the U.S. government has framed an innocent man, but finds that he and those around him are thrown into danger because of his suspicions.  Cast : Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, Graham Greene, Fred Ward.

Tiger Eyes / directed by Lawrence Blume.  [Malibu, CA] : Freestyle Digital Media, [2014]  1 DVD videodisc (92 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.   PN1995.9.D37 T54 2014 VideoDVD : Tiger Eyes marks the first major motion picture adaptation from the work of iconic author Judy Blume. Davey is a 17 year-old girl abruptly relocated by her grieving mother to the strange "atom bomb" town of Los Alamos, New Mexico. With the sudden and violent death of her father, the displaced Davey no longer knows who to be or how to fit in. Everything that once mattered suddenly seems insignificant. But when she meets Wolf, a mysterious young Native-American, while exploring the surrounding canyons, she feels he is able to see past her pain and into her true self. The connection they make brings Davey back from the edge and sets her on a journey from heartbreak and confusion to love and life after tragedy.

Where the Rivers Flow North / director, Jay Craven ; writers, Jay Craven, Don Bredes, Howard Frank Mosher ; producers, Alan Davis, Bernd Schaefers, Bess O'Brien, Glenn Aveni.  [United States] : Simitar, 1997.  1 videodisc (1 hr., 44 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection 9W8 D0000326 VideoDVD  : Rip Torn was critically acclaimed for his commanding performance in this 1993 drama set in Vermont in 1927. Where the Rivers Flow North is about an old-time logger who defends his property against a pair of power-company executives (Michael J. Fox and Bill Raymond) seeking to build a dam on Torn's leased land. Native American actress Tantoo Cardinal is equally superb as Torn's longtime partner and ardent supporter, and the strength of their relationship is what gives this modestly budgeted, beautifully photographed independent feature most of its high-spirited appeal. The film, adapted from a novel by Howard Frank Mosher, was written and directed by Jay Craven, and would likely have earned Rip Torn an Oscar nomination had it been more widely seen at the time of its release.

Wind River (1998) / Pourchlight Entertainment presents an Ivy Entertainment and Voltage Entertainment in association with Mad Dog Films and Wolf Creek Partners presentation ; producer, Kenneth Burke ; screenplay writer, Elizabeth Hansen ; director, Tom Shell. [United States] : Wind River : distributed by Lions Gate Home Entertainment, [2001], c1997. 1 DVD videodisc (98 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. F761.W55 A3 2001 VideoDVD : A Shoshone warrior kidnaps a young white settler thinking he is the one from his wife's vision who will save their family from the white settlers. When a gang of settlers comes looking for him, Nicholas must decide whether to return to his real family or stay with the Indian family he has grown to love.

Windwalker / a Pacific International Enterprises release.  Fort Mill, SC : Sterling Home Video, 2003. 1 DVD videodisc (106 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.I48 W56 2003 VideoDVD : A splendid adventure for family viewing, Windwalker has the distinction of being named the #1 anthropological film of all time in an early 1990s poll of the American Anthropological Association. It's not particularly distinguished in terms of its filmmaking, but this authentic Native American tale is told with exciting vitality and careful attention to details of culture, language, costuming, and age-old traditions. The title character (convincingly played by British actor Trevor Howard) is an aged and dying Cheyenne warrior who, as a young husband and father (played by James Remar in flashbacks), watched helplessly as his wife was killed and one twin son kidnapped by Crow invaders. On his deathbed, he is spiritually revived to solve the mystery of his missing son, and in doing so sets his "windwalker" path to a peaceful afterlife. Featuring an abundance of natural beauty in the mountains of Utah and utilizing sparse, subtitled dialogue spoken in authentic Cheyenne and Crow languages, the film may be too intense for very young viewers (with scenes of PG-rated violence involving enemy warriors, wolves and a bear), but it's essential viewing for anyone interested in Native American cultural history. Independently distributed in 1980 by the Christian family-film company Pacific International Enterprises (whose wholesome founder, Arthur R. Dubs, is profiled in a vintage promo reel included on this DVD), Windwalker was a decade ahead of Dances with Wolves in bringing real, vibrant Indian folklore to a mainstream audience, earning a respectable $18 million at the box office.

Winter in the Blood / Ranchwater Films in association with Kitefliers Studios presents ; produced by Susan Kirr, Andrew & Alex Smith ; screenplay by Andrew & Alex Smith and Ken White ; directors,  New York, NY : Alive Mind Cinema : Kino Lorber, Inc, 2015. 1 DVD videodisc (98 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in   PN1995.9.I48 W57 2015 VideoDVD : A hauntingly beautiful film that is true to the lyrical and unflinching spirit of James Welch's classic 1974 novel of Native American life.  Virgil First Raise wakes in a ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana. He stumbles home to his ranch on the reservation only to learn that his wife, Agnes, has left him. Worse, she's stolen his beloved rifle. Virgil sets out to find her, beginning an odyssey of inebriated intrigues with a mysterious Airplane Man, a beautiful barmaid, and two dangerous Men in Suits. His quixotic, modern-day vision quest moves Virgil ever closer to oblivion until he discovers a long-hidden truth about his identity. But is it too late?  Shot in the badlands of Montana, directors Alex and Andrew Smith (The Slaughter Rule) have crafted a gorgeous heartbreaker of a movie, a revisionist Western where the Indians are the Cowboys set to a high lonesome soundtrack by Heartless Bastards that includes new songs by Robert Plant, Black Prairie, and Cass McCombs.

Subject Guide

Jon Harrison's picture
Jon Harrison
Contact:
366 W. Circle Drive
E. Lansing, MI 48824
517-884-0855
Website / Blog Page

More Native American Film Catalogs

The University of Arizona Libraries offers a very extensive list of North American Indian Films and Video.

Also check out Native Americans in the Movies: A Bibliography of Materials in the UC Berkeley Library. Covers both books and journal articles.

The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian Film & Media Catalog provides information on films screened since 1995 at the National Museum of the American Indian in programs presenting indigenous media from North, Central, and South America, the Pacific region, and the Arctic Circle. The Catalog includes information about productions, the mediamakers and actors who created them, and the film and media organizations that support their creation.

Film Analysis

Native Americans by Julia Wilson.  Check out this bibliographic essay found in Oxford Bibliographies Online Cinema and Media Studies.

Contents covers:

Representations and Stereotyping of Native Americans in Media and Popular Culture

  • Indigenous Peoples in the American Imagination
  • Early, Colonial, and Exhibition Images of American Indians
  • American Indians and Silent Films
  • Critiquing Hollywood Indians: Early Studies in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Critiquing Hollywood Indians: Studies since the 1990s
  • Representations of Native Americans on Television
  • Gendered Representations of Native Americans
  • Audiences, Reception, and Spectatorship
  • Native Americans in the European Imagination

Media by Native Americans: Self-Representations

  • Applied Anthropology and Native Media Production: The Navajo Film Themselves Project
  • Native-Produced Film and Video
  • Native-Produced Radio and Broadcasting
  • Native Americans in Journalism and Documentary
  • Native American Digital Media
  • Native Americans, Animation, Music, Graphic Comics, and Video Games

Approaches to and Issues in Native American Media Studies

  • Native Aesthetics in Visual Culture and Storytelling
  • Native American Use of Media for Cultural Resistance and Activism
  • Native American Use of Media for Cultural Identity and Media Sovereignty
  • Narrative Analysis and Auteur Studies of Native American Media
  • Bibliographies, Filmographies, and Resources Regarding Native Americans and Film

Celluloid Indians : Native Americans and film / Jacquelyn Kilpatrick.  Lincoln, NE : University of Nebraska Press, c1999.  261pp.  Main Library PN1995.9.I48 K56 1999 : Native American characters have been the most malleable of metaphors for filmmakers. The likeable Doc of Stagecoach (1939) had audiences on the edge of their seats with dire warnings about “that old butcher, Geronimo.” Old Lodgeskins of Little Big Man (1970) had viewers crying out against the demise of the noble, wise chief and his kind and simple people. In 1995 Disney created a beautiful, peace-loving ecologist and called her Pocahontas. Only occasionally have Native Americans been portrayed as complex, modern characters in films like Smoke Signals....Celluloid Indians is an accessible, insightful overview of Native American representation in film over the past century. Beginning with the birth of the movie industry, Jacquelyn Kilpatrick carefully traces changes in the cinematic depictions of Native peoples and identifies cultural and historical reasons for those changes. In the late twentieth century, Native Americans have been increasingly involved with writing and directing movies about themselves, and Kilpatrick places appropriate emphasis on the impact that Native American screenwriters and filmmakers have had on the industry. Celluloid Indians concludes with a valuable, in-depth look at influential and innovative Native Americans in today’s film industry. [ film ]

Engaged resistance : American Indian art, literature, and film from Alcatraz to the NMAI / Dean Rader.  Austin : University of Texas Press, 2011.   253pp.  Main Library E98.A73 R23 2011 : From Sherman Alexie's films to the poetry and fiction of Louise Erdrich and Leslie Marmon Silko to the paintings of Jaune Quick-To-See Smith and the sculpture of Edgar Heap of Birds, Native American movies, literature, and art have become increasingly influential, garnering critical praise and enjoying mainstream popularity. Recognizing that the time has come for a critical assessment of this exceptional artistic output and its significance to American Indian and American issues, Dean Rader offers the first interdisciplinary examination of how American Indian artists, filmmakers, and writers tell their own stories....Beginning with rarely seen photographs, documents, and paintings from the Alcatraz Occupation in 1969 and closing with an innovative reading of the National Museum of the American Indian, Rader initiates a conversation about how Native Americans have turned to artistic expression as a means of articulating cultural sovereignty, autonomy, and survival. Focusing on figures such as author/director Sherman Alexie (Flight, Face, and Smoke Signals), artist Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, director Chris Eyre (Skins), author Louise Erdrich (Jacklight, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse), sculptor Edgar Heap of Birds, novelist Leslie Marmon Silko, sculptor Allen Houser, filmmaker and actress Valerie Red Horse, and other writers including Joy Harjo, LeAnne Howe, and David Treuer, Rader shows how these artists use aesthetic expression as a means of both engagement with and resistance to the dominant U.S. culture. Raising a constellation of new questions about Native cultural production, Rader greatly increases our understanding of what aesthetic modes of resistance can accomplish that legal or political actions cannot, as well as why Native peoples are turning to creative forms of resistance to assert deeply held ethical values.

Hollywood's Indian : the portrayal of the Native American in film / edited by Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor.  Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c1998, c2003.  250pp.  Main Library PN1995.9.I48 H66 2003 : In light of recent inattention to the Western genre, the appearance of this volume is welcome. Recognizing the affirmative power of motion pictures "to define [and valorize] the Indian past in dramatic cinematic terms," the collection addresses the ways that mainstream cultural ideologies have nonetheless driven screen portrayals of indigenous peoples. Amply illustrated, the anthology contains 12 essays ranging from basic surveys of images of Native Americans in the movies to more focused readings of such key films as Broken Arrow, The Vanishing American, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, and Powwow Highway. As a whole, the essays are useful, enabling readers to construct a cinematic chronology of the Hollywood Indian and to comprehend the larger cultural forces at work interpreting the Indian-white past on screen. Some contributions--e.g., Hannu Saimi's piece on Westerns made in Finland and Pauline Turner Strong's on Pocahantas and The Indian in the Cupboard--extend and enrich the reader's sense of the genre. A number of the essays provide insightful postcolonial perspectives on mythologies of the frontier.  [ film ]

Images of American Indians on film : an annotated bibliographyGretchen M. Bataille, Charles L.P. Silet. New York : Garland, 1985. 216pp. PN1995.9.I48 B3 1985 :

'Injuns!' : Native Americans in the movies / Edward Buscombe.  London : Reaktion, 2006. 272pp. Main Library  PN1995.9.I48 B87 2006 : The indispensable sage, fierce enemy, silent sidekick: the role of Native Americans in film has been largely confined to identities defined by the “white” perspective. Many studies have analyzed these simplistic stereotypes of Native American cultures in film, but few have looked beyond the Hollywood Western for further examples. Distinguished film scholar Edward Buscombe offers here an incisive study that examines cinematic depictions of Native Americans from a global perspective...Buscombe opens with a historical survey of American Westerns and their controversial portrayals of Native Americans: the wild redmen of nineteenth-century Wild West shows, the more sympathetic depictions of Native Americans in early Westerns, and the shift in the American film industry in the 1920s to hostile characterizations of Indians. Questioning the implicit assumptions of prevailing critiques, Buscombe looks abroad to reveal a distinctly different portrait of Native Americans. He focuses on the lesser known Westerns made in Germany—such as East Germany’s Indianerfilme, in which Native Americans were Third World freedom fighters battling against Yankee imperialists—as well as the films based on the novels of nineteenth-century German writer Karl May. These alternative portrayals of Native Americans offer a vastly different view of their cultural position in American society. Buscombe offers nothing less than a wholly original and readable account of the cultural images of Native Americans through history andaround  the globe, revealing new and complex issues in our understanding of how oppressed peoples have been represented in mass culture.

Killing the Indian maiden : images of Native American women in film / M. Elise Marubbio.  Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2006.  298pp.  Main Library PN1995.9.I48 M37 2006 : Marubbio  surveys images of Native American women in films of the 20th century and, in her conclusion, into the 21st. She identifies three archetypal constructions and so names the book's three sections: "The Celluloid Princess," "The Sexualized Maiden," and "The Hybrid Celluloid Maiden." Basing her analysis on the groundbreaking work of frontier scholars such as Annette Kolodny and Richard Slotkin, the author extends paradigms of the feminine and the Other into a colonial framework in which cinema engages in a racial project that does the ideological work of oppression and colonial appropriation. She begins with silent films (images that often negotiate between savagism and civilization) and moves into the 1930s. Her strongest chapters analyze the Western as it emerged in the 1940s and continued into the 1950s-60s. Here Marubbio explores the tensions between the celluloid princess and the sexualized maiden as she critiques the films as "social narratives and politically inspired works of art that inform us about our society's fears, desires, politics, conflicts, and structures of power." Marubbio's study, with its careful scholarship, is a welcome, valuable addition to the discussion of images of Native Americans. Collections of popular culture or film history are incomplete without it. [ film ]

Making the white man's Indian : native Americans and Hollywood movies / Angela Aleiss.  Westport, Conn. : Praeger, c2005.  211pp.  PN1995.9.I48 A44 2005 : The image in Hollywood movies of savage Indians attacking white settlers represents only one side of a very complicated picture. In fact sympathetic portrayals of Native Americans stood alongside those of hostile Indians in the silent films of D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille, and flourished during the early 1930s with Hollywood's cycle of pro-Indian adventures. Decades later, the stereotype became even more complicated, as films depicted the savagery of whites (The Searchers) in contrast to the more "peaceful" Indian (Broken Arrow). By 1990 the release of Dances with Wolves appeared to have recycled the romantic and savage portrayals embedded in early cinema. In this new study, author Angela Aleiss traces the history of Native Americans on the silver screen, and breaks new ground by drawing on primary sources such as studio correspondence, script treatments, trade newspapers, industry censorship files, and filmmakers' interviews to reveal how and why Hollywood created its Indian characters. Behind-the-scenes anecdotes of filmmakers and Native Americans, as well as rare archival photographs, supplement the discussion, which often shows a stark contrast between depiction and reality. [ film ]

Navajo talking picture : cinema on native ground / Randolph Lewis.  Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2012.  215pp.  Main Library E99.N3 L633 2012 : Navajo Talking Picture, released in 1985, is one of the earliest and most controversial works of Native cinema. It is a documentary by Los Angeles filmmaker Arlene Bowman, who travels to the Navajo reservation to record the traditional ways of her grandmother in order to understand her own cultural heritage. For reasons that have often confused viewers, the filmmaker persists despite her traditional grandmother’s forceful objections to the apparent invasion of her privacy. What emerges is a strange and thought-provoking work that abruptly calls into question the issue of insider versus outsider and other assumptions that have obscured the complexities of Native art....Randolph Lewis offers an insightful introduction and analysis of Navajo Talking Picture, in which he shows that it is not simply the first Navajo-produced film but also a path-breaking work in the history of indigenous media in the United States. Placing the film in a number of revealing contexts, including the long history of Navajo people working in Hollywood, the ethics of documentary filmmaking, and the often problematic reception of Native art, Lewis explores the tensions and mysteries hidden in this unsettling but fascinating film.

Reservation reelism : redfacing, visual sovereignty, and representations of Native Americans in film / Michelle H. RahejaLincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c2010.  338pp. Main Library PN1995.9.I48 R34 2010 :In this deeply engaging account Michelle H. Raheja offers the first book-length study of the Indigenous actors, directors, and spectators who helped shape Hollywood's representation of Indigenous peoples. Since the era of silent films, Hollywood movies and visual culture generally have provided the primary representational field on which Indigenous images have been displayed to non-Native audiences. These films have been highly influential in shaping perceptions of Indigenous peoples as, for example, a dying race or as inherently unable or unwilling to adapt to change. However, films with Indigenous plots and subplots also signify at least some degree of Native presence in a culture that largely defines Native peoples as absent or separate....Native actors, directors, and spectators have had a part in creating these cinematic representations and have thus complicated the dominant, and usually negative, messages about Native peoples that films portray. In Reservation Reelism Raheja examines the history of these Native actors, directors, and spectators, reveals their contributions, and attempts to create positive representations in film that reflect the complex and vibrant experiences of Native peoples and communities.

Seeing red : Hollywood's pixeled skins : American Indians and film / edited by LeAnne Howe, Harvey Markowitz, Denise K. Cummings.  East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, c2013.  225pp.  Main Library PN1995.9.I48 S44 2013 : At once informative, comic, and plaintive, Seeing Red—Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins is an anthology of critical reviews that reexamines the ways in which American Indians have traditionally been portrayed in film. From George B. Seitz’s 1925 The Vanishing American to Rick Schroder’s 2004 Black Cloud, these 36 reviews by prominent scholars of American Indian Studies are accessible, personal, intimate, and oftentimes autobiographic. Seeing Red—Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins offers indispensible perspectives from American Indian cultures to foreground the dramatic, frequently ridiculous difference between the experiences of Native peoples and their depiction in film. By pointing out and poking fun at the dominant ideologies and perpetuation of stereotypes of Native Americans in Hollywood, the book gives readers the ability to recognize both good filmmaking and the dangers of misrepresenting aboriginal peoples. The anthology offers a method to historicize and contextualize cinematic representations spanning the blatantly racist, to the well-intentioned, to more recent independent productions. Seeing Red is a unique collaboration by scholars in American Indian Studies that draws on the stereotypical representations of the past to suggest ways of seeing American Indians and indigenous peoples more clearly in the twenty-first century.

Visualities : perspectives on contemporary American Indian film and art / edited by Denise K. Cummings.  East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, c2011  243pp.  Main Library E98.A73 V57 2011 : In recent years, works by American Indian artists and filmmakers such as Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Edgar Heap of Birds, Sherman Alexie, Shelley Niro, and Chris Eyre have illustrated the importance of visual culture as a means to mediate identity in contemporary Native America. This insightful collection of essays explores how identity is created and communicated through Native film-, video-, and art-making; what role these practices play in contemporary cultural revitalization; and how indigenous creators revisit media pasts and resignify dominant discourses through their work. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art draws on American Indian Studies, American Studies, Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, and Postcolonial Studies. Among the artists examined are Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie, Eric Gansworth, Melanie Printup Hope, Jolene Rickard, and George Longfish. Films analyzed include Imprint, It Starts with a Whisper, Mohawk Girls, Skins, The Business of Fancydancing, and a selection of Native Latin films.

Wiping the war paint off the lens : Native American film and video / Beverly R. Singer ; foreword by Robert Warrior.  Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2001.  110pp.  PN1995.9.I48 S56 2001 : Native Americans have thrown themselves into filmmaking since the mid-1970s, producing hundreds of films and videos, and their body of work has had great impact on Native cultures and filmmaking itself. With their cameras, they capture the lives of Native people, celebrating community, ancestral lifeways, and identity. Not only artistic statements, the films are archives that document rich and complex Native communities and counter mainstream media portrayals....Wiping the War Paint off the Lens traces the history of Native experiences as subjects, actors, and creators, and develops a critical framework for approaching Native work. Singer positions Native media as part of a larger struggle for "cultural sovereignty"-the right to maintain and protect cultures and traditions. Taking it out of a European-American context, she reframes the discourse of filmmaking, exploring oral histories and ancient lifeways inform Native filmmaking and how it seeks to heal the devastation of the past. Singer's approach is both cultural and personal, provides both historical views and close textual readings, and may well set the terms of the critical debate on Native filmmaking.

Documentary Films

Looking for documentary films?  Note there is a separate tab at the top.

Want to Make a Recommendation?

Feel free to recommend your favorite documentary or feature film for acquisition by the library.   Send an email to Jon Harrison at harris23@mail.lib.msu.edu 

Better yet the Library will be happy to accept donations and they are tax deductible too! 

Ask a Librarian

Michigan State University