If people thought Mel Gibson had it tough getting people to watch a movie that was fully in Aramaic, think back to 1970 when A Man Called Horse came out. Richard Harris plays John Morgan, a nobleman from England who has gotten bored with life and has been romping around the plans of the American West to find something more interesting. In a scene which probably goes down as one of the most memorable in all movies featuring native american cultures, claws are inserted into Morgan's chest muscles and he is suspended by them, spinning in slow circles. I am also a bit embarassed that they had such trouble finding real native americans to play the lead roles.
Still, in all, it is definitely a movie to watch at least one, and appreciate the parts that were done well.
Sheryl Lee stars in this fact-based story of a colonial woman taken prisoner by a tribe of Shawnee Indians during the French and Indian War. Schweig's numerous screen credits (over thirty) include his portrayal of Uncas in the epic motion picture The Last of the Mohicans (1992) and Pike Dexter in the movie Big Eden (2000), for which he won the Grand Jury Prize at the Outfest film festival. In 1992, he was cast as Black Thunder in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation mini-series By Way of the Stars with Gordon Tootoosis as The Cree Chief and Tantoo Cardinal as Francoise. Not all but many Am native attacks were for revenge.Had the early pioneers only realized the future consequences on generations of both. We get an "I am not a horse!" stand, very much reminding us of "I am not an animal!" from a certain other movie. We don't get translations of all the Lakota language, nor is the movie "dubbed" in English.


It's Morgan's skilled tactics that save the day when a battle ensues - even though this tribe has been fighting wars their entire lives, while Morgan has been off lazing in the sun.
I realize if we watch a movie about the Roman Empire we tend to have Americans, not 100% Romans, playing those parts.
At one point, Morgan's fellow slave crows over a bad thing which has happened to one of the Sioux. After being abducted to the tribe's settlement in the wilds of Virginia, Mary Ingles (Lee) befriends a Dutch woman who is also being held captive, and the two manage to escape and work their way back home through the dangerous Virginia wilderness.
This helps you to really get a sense of what it was like to be thrown into a foreign culture and to try to thrive there.
Instead, you have to listen to the native language and try to learn as you go what they are saying.
The chief's daughter could marry whoever she wanted and choose the "best of the best" - and she goes for Morgan. Morgan turns and snarls at him, asking him if he has learned nothing in the five years he has been with the tribe.
The chief's sister falls for his good looks and soon the two are making goo-goo eyes at each other. There are of course English sections where Morgan is talking to himself or to another captive in the group. In very little time - and without really learning the language - Morgan goes from looked down on slave to most exulted leader.


However, Native Americans *are* Americans and they were right there in the areas that the movies were being filmed. I certainly appreciate that sense that we can all learn from other cultures, if we would just open our ears and listen. It's not necessarily that the natives were "excessively cruel" to their captured slaves, in an unusual way. Instead, they took actors who did not look Native American at all, painted them red, and made it seem that it was good enough.
Many of the actors were from the Sioux reservation and knew how to do these things properly. I certainly understand that a good actor can submerge himself into the part, but if the movie is about a captured male African slave and his traumas coming to America, it wouldn't do well to have that played by Gwyneth Paltrow and filmed in Siberia. They treated them as functional possessions - to be fed and watered, but certainly not paid much concern to.



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