Staff Picks: Movies

Staff-recommended viewing from the KPL catalog.

Reel Injun

Today my morning coffee was served to me by a non-Native American wearing a headband with feathers. Some employees at this coffee shop even donned headdresses, while others wore bandanas around their necks and western-style plaid shirts. I can't say I was surprised, as culturally insensitive Halloween costumes have grown inexplicably popular, or at least become much more visible due to the Internet, in the last few years. So popular that a group of students at Ohio University have created two campaigns raising awareness about the issue.

This incident was all the more poignant, and timely, because I recently watched Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian, a 2009 documentary that traces portrayals of Native Americans in Hollywood films, from the silent era to the present, and explores the ways those portrayals shape non-Natives' understanding of Native culture and history. The film features interviews with actors, directors, and American Indian activists, including Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell, and Russell Means. Some of the films discussed include One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dances WithWolves, Flags of Our Fathers, Smoke Signals, and The Fast Runner, all of which are available at KPL.

This documentary is entertaining, informative, and breaks down common assumptions and stereotypes. Those feather headdresses? They're worn for ceremonial purposes, and only by American Indians of the Great Plains region.

Movie

Reel Injun
10442516

 




AngelaF

What a great movie!

It would be easy to get caught up in Sandra Bullock’s role as Leigh Anne Tuohy, after all she did a fantastic job, for which she won an academy award for best actress. Since I’m very partial to Sandra Bullock, it would be effortless for me to lose sight of the fact that the movie was based on a true story. It’s a story about real people. The Tuohy family showed compassion, courage and unconditional love to a total stranger and changed his life as well as their own. The Blind Side is a great feel-good, do-good story that shows us we make a difference.

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The Blind Side
WAR1000110426D
JudiR