TCM is doing a spotlight this month on Native American images in film as part of their Race in Hollywood series.
Along with many of the films that most people would recognize like Dances With Wolves (1990) and Smoke Signals (1998), they're showcasing a lot of obscure films too. One in particular called The Exiles (1961) looks particularly powerful and airs on Thursday night. I'll be setting my DVR.
These spotlights are rather cool because the TCM host guy Robert Osborne discusses the films with people who offer additional insight. In the Native American images spotlight, he discusses the films with Professor Hanay Geiogamah, director of the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. It's been quite interesting and enlightening, to say the least, to hear from actors, directors, writers, and even professors about how Native Americans were portrayed in films through the years and the impacts they've made. As you can imagine, not all of it has been pleasant. Wes Studi, another one of my favorite Native American actors, talked about filming Last of the Mohicans (1992), also one of my all-time favorite books and movies. It was interesting to get insight and background from him on filming some of the scenes that you would never have gotten from simply watching the movie. Wes Studi has one of those expressive faces where he can speak simply by looking into the camera. Incredible actor, IMO.
Personally, I think TCM is one of the best channels on cable. Somehow I had lost my TCM channel and I have no idea why. But it's back. And I'm a happy camper. Here's the link if you'd like to know more about this spotlight series. Click me.
Do you have a fav Native American film? Story? Book? Actor?