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Movie Review
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Reel Injun: The Portrayal Of Native Americans (Movie Review Sample)


Watch Film Reel Injun and write a two to three page summary
Write a six paragraph summary of the film: Please upload your summary with an MLA heading.
This film shows the progression of the portrayal of Native Americans over the decades. Pay attention to the changes and the connection between how Americans changed their views of Native Americans based on their own needs rather than on reality (the Native Americans themselves). Create an overview for the introduction, then write one specific paragraph on each of the "Eras" Neil Diamond takes us through in the film:
1) the Silent Era, Noble Indian, 1890s-1920s
2) the Savage Era, Westerns, 30s-50s
3) the Groovy Era, hippies and the American Indian Movement (AIM) 60s-70s
4) the Renaissance Era, the rebirth, 90s
Use specific examples from the film to explain what was happening in each of the Eras. Each paragraph must be about each Era in the film. You may bring in references to Chief Seattle's speech as well: for citation, the printed version is by Roberta Frye Watt and the audio version is by Wes Felty.
Finally, write a conclusion of what impressed you; what stood out to you? You may use "I" in the summary. So, write a six paragraph summary.
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Film Analysis
Released in 2009, Reel Injun was a Canadian documentary film that beautifully explored the portrayal of Native Americans. The film was directed by Jeremiah Hayes, Neil Diamond, and Catherine Bainbridge, and depicted everything from noble savages to drunken Indians. Reel Injun also highlighted the lifestyle of figures like Iron Eyes Cody, an Italian American who was able to reinvent himself as an American on screen. Plus, it explored some of the finest practices of using American Jews and Italians in Hollywood (Hale 2010).
The Silent Era, Noble Indian, 1890s-1920s
Native Americans were used to wow the viewers, and to help us see Indians on screen for the first time. The portrayal of a group and several stereotypes in Reel Injun was incredible because it allowed us to understand how Indians used to fight for their survival in the United States from the 1890s to 1920s. Various actors were used for highlighting moments of the silent era and how it influenced the film industry. It allowed the viewers to understand that Indians were not supposed to be treated arrogantly by white people. They were given tough times, were forced to work hard, and were often killed in the name of religion. Some scholars, however, argue that the representation of Americans in the silent era is surprisingly varied. In simple words, this movie has analyzed the time spent by Indians in the film industry; the terms used to describe them were “villains,” “families,” and “groups.” Most of them left a good impression on the minds of viewers, especially the Indian mothers who showed too much love and affection for their children (Hale 2010).
The Savage Era, Westerns, 30s-50s
Reel Injun has theorized that Americans were not interested in Westerns, and the portrayal of several stereotypes depicts the same. As the West developed as a prominent, genre, their impression on Americans was significantly impacted. We shouldn't forget that North America consisted of various westerns and Indians, and they were still ignored for years. The culture, language, traditions, and values of westerns were ignored in the United States during the Savage Era, and this is what Reel Injun depicts beautifully and gracefully. The filmmaker, through this project, took us to that era when everyone's ri

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