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Indian Representation and Cultural Analysis of the Films:

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1 Indian Representation and Cultural Analysis of the Films:
Dances With Wolves and Frozen River By Mikhail Sorsher

2 Dances with Wolves: Plot overview and history
Film released: 1990 Budget: ~$18Million Gross: $424.2Million Time Period setting: American Civil War John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) a civil war lieutenant, becomes becomes a war hero and is given his choice of posting. He chooses an abandoned post in the western frontier. He feels that the frontier will soon be gone and would like to see it before this happens. Over time he encounters the Sioux Indians and befriends them as well as falling in love with a woman from their tribe. He is given the name “Dances With Wolves” and after time he feels more connected to the Indian tribe than American culture. Eventually, American reinforcements arrive to the post he was stationed at and Dunbar abandons the military and attempts to help the Sioux evade the American forces. Fun fact:Won 7 Oscars with 12 nominations

3 Dances with Wolves: you cant escape the “Noble Savage”
Indianan's expressed stereotypically. Shown to be,overall, inherently good willed and primitive. You are bombarded with the concept of the Noble Savage and reminded of it frequently throughout the film. Clip from directors cut of “Dances with Wolves” showing Indian community and explicit statement of noble savages at running time: 1:33:15 to 1:35:50 Also shown traditional trading customs: From Clip from directors cut of “Dances with Wolves” at running time 2:07:22-2:09:07 The film adheres to the stereotypes of the noble savage, and man joining indigenous society where he finds love, the film becomes a story redone and retold in variety of future films and books. Ex:

4 Frozen River: Plot overview and history
Film released: 2008 2 Academy award nomination (2008) Gross Revenue: $5.1Million Worldwide Setting: St. Regis Mohawk Reservation located on both Upstate New York and the Canadian border Plotline: Ray Eddie is a store clerk with barley enough income to feed her children and her husband has disappeared in fit of apparent gambling addiction. While searching for her husband she discovers, an Indian woman, Lila Littlewolf driving her husbands car, which Lila claims she found abandoned. Both of the women are in desperate need of money and become an unlikely duo who begin to traffic illegal immigrants from Canada into America across the the frozen St. Lawrence River

5 Frozen River: Not your typical Indian movie
This film does not focus on the stereotypical view of Indian culture. A very modern take on Indian culture: Indians portrayed in the movie work in a variety of fields and establishments ranging from gambling (Bingo) establishments, convenience stores and gas stations. The reservation is seen not portrayed as a majestic place for the noble Savage but is exploited as a means to bypass laws and gain money by illicit drug trafficking Turning away from Indian stereotypes clip: (3:01Min to 5Min) Though the film strays away from Indian stereotypes, there are still relations with the elders of the Indian community and there is an obvious tightly knit community that punishes itself and attempts to right offences. Self governing society clips from the “Frozen River”, at running times: 1:20:35-1:21:15 1:22:33-1:23:26

6 Importance and Comparison of Films
Dances with Wolves: Shows the indigenous Indian culture in a positive light in a way that connects with large audiences. The film showcases many of the original customs of these cultures such as: Ceremonial Pipes, tribal ceremonies, trading rituals, etc. So that people who know little of the culture could know more about it. Award winning film that in many ways set the standard for future 1800’s American Indian films Frozen River: Broke the norms for American Indian Actors, and American Indian narratives in movies. Shows how Indian culture functions today in current society. Explores the possibility of the dark side of Indian culture without referencing Indians as savages. Showed the American Indian working with Americans to aid people of other nations and nationalities.

7 Bibliography “Dances with Wolves” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. May 28, 2010 “Frozen River” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. May 28, 2010 “Frozen River ****” Cinematographique, J. P. Campbell. July “Frozen River - Melissa Leo and Misty Upham on Stereotypes.” “DANCES WITH WOLVES artwork” “Here’s what wasn’t so cool about ‘Avatar’” Joetopia. Jan

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