drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
I've been reading a lot of reviews and commentary on the film, ranging from the adulatory to completely clueless. There is one I want to bring out because it speaks to something I was unsure about.

In comments to my entry, I said that I was "on the fence" about the Native American character and while I gave the film credit for not whitewashing the role - it's played by one of the best and best-known Native American actors working today - I was uncertain. On the one hand he serves an incredibly important narrative role because he can point to Steve and rightfully accuse him (as a representative White person) of crimes every bit as bad as the WWI Germans. On the other hand, Native stereotyping is a huge thing in Hollywood films, so how do Native people feel about this character who everyone calls 'Chief'?


The short piece by Vincent Schilling gives the movie props for Chief speaking Blackfoot to her initially (possibly to test if that's one of her known languages?). It notes that the actor was able to choose his own equipment and gear to maintain authenticity. And Schilling appreciates that the movie portrays Chief as a heroic figure.

I suspect that like any other community, Native American viewers are going to have a variety of opinions about this portrayal, but reading Schilling's comments helps me understand better and like Chief more.

Date: 2017-06-12 11:18 pm (UTC)
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
From: [personal profile] omly
I appreciate this data point. Thanks for sharing it. I will keep an eye out for more.

Date: 2017-06-13 03:18 pm (UTC)
corylea: A woman gazing at the sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] corylea
Personally, I assumed that everyone called that character "Chief" as social commentary, that the writers and/or the director were making the point that the racism of the era was so pervasive that even the people who considered themselves his friends dehumanized him by not calling him by his real name.

If the line about his land being stolen by Steve Trevor's people hadn't been in there, then calling the character "Chief" could have just been thoughtless stereotyping. But given that the line WAS in there, it seemed to me quite likely that the name of the character was making the same point; that even the character's name had been stolen.


drwex: (Default)

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