Reel Injun Essay

898 Words4 Pages
Reel Injun Video Analysis: The Continuing Struggle for Individuality. One would think that today, with all these issues on equality and individuality, the difference on the depictions of Aboriginals nowadays and in the early films would be drastic. The evolving images of Aboriginals in films (and in the media in general) have affected their situation in the society and also in how they view themselves. Native American and Aboriginal people have long been a part in Hollywood filmmaking, but the images presented of them were not always pleasing or accurate. The movie Reel Injun, by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond, reveals the evolution of the media’s portrayal of Native people from the silent-film era to the present day. It explores the portrayal of Aboriginal people through a century of films. At first, First Nation’s roles in films were not only shown as violent and cunning, but they were also played by white actors-adding more to the insult. However, as issues of Native American rights came in the 1960s, more filmmakers took the effort to present a more positive and thoughtful portrayal of First Nations characters on screen. The negative portrayals of earlier films on Aboriginals did not only have a great effect on how the world views them today, but it has also contributed to the continuing struggles of First Nations for individual rights. The world has a variety of interpretations and misinterpretations of the First Nations people, but the one that is stuck to everyone’s mind are probably the portrayals of First Nations in the earlier films. The early film’s portrayals of aboriginals were mostly offensive, inaccurate, and stereotypical-they were not pleasant. In the 1930s, Native people were portrayed as savages. One example is John Ford’s movie Stagecoach which shows a number of Indian type violence, heavy drinkers to being prostitutes to
Open Document