Movie Night at St. Peter’s--Letting the Arrows Fly at Hollywood Stereotypes
St. Peter’s movie series on the first Wednesday of the month continues with the prestigious film, Reel Injun. The movie will be shown November 6th at 6 pm in the parlor at St. Peter’s Church, 11 White St. in Rockland. A short discussion will follow.
This engaging documentary by the Cree filmmaker, Neil Diamond, takes the viewer on a road trip to places that resonate in American History, including the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Crow Agency in Montana, and the Navajo Nation. It is an imaginative journey through the shifting stereotypes Hollywood has used to obscure that history: the noble savage, the brutal savage, the groovy wise man. Quite an expedition!
Mr. Diamond films a series of bittersweet and sometimes bitingly funny encounters. A husband and wife, Navajo elders who worked as extras in John Ford westerns, see themselves on screen for the first time and recall how the Indian dialogue in those films was often significantly different from (and more obscene than) what was in the script! At the Pine Ridge Reservation, the activist Russell Means remembers being in the trading post during the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee and watching on television as Sacheen Littlefeather turned down the best actor award on Marlon Brando’s behalf, citing “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.” Clips from decades of Hollywood westerns illustrate Mr. Diamond’s points. [Information adapted from the New York Times movie review by Mike Hale.]
In 2011 Reel Injun was honored with the prestigious Peabody Award recognizing the best in electronic media. The film has also received three 2010 Gemini Awards: the Canada award for Multicultural program; best direction in a Documentary program; best Visual research. It promises to be an extremely valuable 1 hour and 28 minute experience.
Please join us on November 6th at St Peter’s Church for our first Wednesday of November film. Since the show begins at 6:00 pm, feel welcome to bring any food you would enjoy eating during the film.