Native Americans in the Movies: Portrayals from Silent Films to the Present

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9781442240018: Native Americans in the Movies: Portrayals from Silent Films to the Present
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Since the early days of the silent era, Native Americans have been captured on film, often in unflattering ways. Over the decades, some filmmakers have tried to portray the Native American on screen with more balanced interpretations—to varying degrees of success. More recent films such as The New World, Flags of Our Fathers, and Frozen River have offered depictions of both historical and contemporary Native Americans, providing viewers with a range of representations.

In Native Americans in the Movies: Portrayals from Silent Films to the Present, Michael Hilger surveys more than a century of cinema. Drawing upon his previous work, From Savage to Nobleman, Hilger presents a thorough revision of the earlier volume. The introductory material has not only been revised with updated information and examples but also adds discussions of representative films produced since the mid-1990s. Now organized alphabetically, the entries on individual films cover all relevant works made over the past century, and each entry contains much more information than those in the earlier book. Details include

  • film summary
  • nation represented
  • image portrayal
  • production details
  • DVD availability

Many of the entries also contain comments from film critics to indicate how the movies were regarded at the time of their theatrical release. Supplemented by appendixes of image portrayals, representations of nations, and a list of made-for-television movies, this volume offers readers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of hundreds of films in which Native American characters have appeared on the big screen. As such, Native Americans in the Movies will appeal not only to scholars of media, ethnic studies, and history but also to anyone interested in the portrayal of Native Americans in cinema.

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About the Author:

Michael Hilger is professor of English and Film at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has produced video documentaries on the oral history and folk stories of the Lac Court Oreilles Chippewa Band in Wisconsin. He is the author of From Savage to Nobleman: Images of Native Americans in Film (Scarecrow Press, 1995).

Review:

The literature on Native Americans in film is dominated by accounts that demonstrate extensive racism, misrepresentation, and stereotyping together with descriptions of some more-authentic and positive depictions occurring in the recent past. The work by Hilger is no exception to this approach. A revision and update of his 1995 From Savage to Nobleman: Images of Native Americans in Film—a book based, in turn, on his 1986 filmography, The American Indian in Film—the volume has the advantage of extensive revision, with more than 160 additional pages compared to its 1995 predecessor. Other virtues of this newest contribution to the field include the author's provision of film credits, information on critical reception for many of the films (an especially rare feature of such an encyclopedic work), contextualizing essays on traditional and contemporary filmic treatments of Native Americans, and an in-depth discussion of representative films from the silent film era into the 2000s. Also useful are appendixes of films by nation (i.e., tribe or ethnic group), theme, and time period and lists of works cited and consulted. Impressive, well organized, and up-to-date, the information in this critical volume is suitable for all academic and public library reference collections.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. (CHOICE)

[A] very enlightening and useful study.... Michael Hilger’s Native Americans in the Movies: Portrayals from Silent Films to Present broadens the scope, analysis, and cataloging of cinematic portrayals of Native Americans. Hilger expands his treatment to cover films and television portrayals of not only American Indians but also Canadian First Nations peoples. He captures the breadth of these portrayals, making sure to bring them up to the present to include not only recently produced films and TV shows about Native North American peoples, but also portrayals directed by Native Americans and starring Native Americans depicted in contemporary settings, facing contemporary societal and cultural issues. In all this he has done an excellent job. (Journal of American Culture)

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Book Description ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book looks at portrayals of Native Americans, from the silent and early sound films through the present, covering more than 800 films, including The Vanishing American, They Died with Their Boots On, Cheyenne Autumn, Dances with Wolves, and The Lone Ranger (2013). A completely revised, expanded, and reorganized edition from his 1995 book From Savage to Nobleman (Scarecrow), this new version features an alphabetical arrangement and includes appendixes that list the films by Native American nation, image portrayals, and chronologically. Entries are more detailed and include availability on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Amazon streaming. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781442240018

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