The Native American Experience: Short Essay Prompt #3 – Comparative Film Studies (Essay Sample)
The study of film has always been an important part of Native American Studies.
Movies can be a window into Native American cultures, histories, stories, and beliefs, or they
can represent how non-Indians perceive Native Americans. We watched two Native American
films, Powwow Highway (1989) and Smoke Signals (1998). In Native American Studies we draw
on many different disciplines to learn about different aspects of Native American cultural
production. For this essay you use Comparative Methodology, simply meaning you will compare
and contrast the two films. Through comparison, we can also learn more about things than we
would if we analyzed them separately. This is an exercise in thinking of comparative studies of
If possible u can log into my Sakai account to watch that two movies
The Native American Experience: Comparative Film Studies
Powwow Highway (1989) is a movie directed by Jonathan Wacks and populated with a cast comprising of Cheyenne Indians. Being a road trip movie, the lead characters travel while experiencing different emotions and feelings along the way. On the other hand, Smoke Signals (1998) is directed by Chris Eyre and was famous for its use of Native Americans in the writing, production and directing. The film also involves a journey of the main characters as they deal with life issues as Victor travels to collect the remains of his father. Thus, the two movies form a critical approach to analyzing the lives of Native Americans through the use of literary elements. Consequently, the two films show several similarities in both their plot and thematic areas.
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