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But lo and behold, the trek westward and the cementing of the future of the next generations were never easy tasks. Those western films we grew up with had always taught us that there were villains along the way who made sure that future America cannot partake of the wealth and prosperity that would be generated by the gold strikes in California and the oil finds in Texas among other discoveries of the west's vast natural resources. These brutal, uncivilized savages they named as Indians or red men were called by them as America's version of the Barbarians, the Tartars, the Huns, the Vandals and the Visigoths. They were supposed to be the embodiment of evil. These former western movies depicted them as hindrance to civilized man's search for prosperity and as such they should be obliterated by whatever means possible
But then like a breath of fresh air, came Dances With Wolves which humanized these savages and depicted them not as vicious villains but as victims who are continually being forced out of their own lands that their ancestors owned since time immemorial, albeit without deeds of title, by this thundering horde of gun-toting imperialist Americans who leave no stone unturned
to erase them from the face of the earth and thus remove all possible claimants to the title of these new, vast lands which held massive potentials. Suddenly, the indigenous Indians are depicted as desperate to protect themselves and their lands from this new land-grabbing forces who are without respect for their traditions and culture. For the first time, Sioux Indian language, the Lakota, was used with only English subtitles to make them comprehensible to the viewers. Finally, they are humanized and allowed to vent out their aspirations, dreams, frustrations, pains, insecurities and the whole gamut of emotions that had been kept away from us in the earlier western movies, where we were all treated with their savage grunts, wild gibberish sounds that only fortified or fears for these red men. Suddenly we are awed by the wisdom of Ten Bears, the gentleness of Wind In His Hair and the humanity of Kicking Bird. The presence of Stands With A Fist, a white woman who was raised up an Indian and portrayed by Mary McDonnel, taught us that Sioux Indians knew how to raise a child and impart her with proper Indian values so that she grow civilized, despite nary a formal education. Like us, this movie made us realize that these native Indians also have their beliefs and fears. They have more respect for nature, animals and fellow Indians than the 'civilized' societies. They can also be very vulnerable. As for example, Kicking Bird keeps on expressing his anxiety about the coming of the white men and keeps on cajoling Lt. John Dunbar, portrayed by Kevin Costner, as to how many more of these white men are ...Show more

Summary

America has always glorified that one chapter in its history whereby it started to make a push westward and opened new frontiers to the west, capturing control of that vast wilderness west of the eastern colonies. That was one historic moment, America keeps on harking and reminiscing about…
Author : bmccullough
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