Native American History Movies & TV
This five-part series traces Native Americans' efforts to defend their lands and rights from the seventh century through the 1970s. Part of this PBS series American Experience: We Shall Remain has a useful companion site and teacher's guide.
This film, based on a somewhat far-fetched premise—an interview with Jack Crabb, 121 years old and the only white survivor of the Little Big Horn—turns western mythology upside down in recounting Crabb's life. At times hilarious, at others tragic, the film avoids both traditional stereotypes of the Indian—bloodthirsty warrior and noble savage.
Filmed in Monument Valley, directed by John Ford, and starring John Wayne, this is considered one of the great westerns. Ethan Edwards (Wayne) sets out to rescue his niece, kidnapped by Indians. His search, however, turns into a quest to kill her when he learns that she has done the unthinkable: married an Indian man. Some critics argue that Ford's message was a complex commentary on racism; even if true, it is doubtful that 1950s audiences caught the nuances.