Dances with Wolves is a 1990 film directed by and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is set in the 1860s during the American Civil War and tells the story of Union Army lieutenant John Dunbar, who is sent to live with a Sioux tribe in the Dakota Territory.
While there are some historical inaccuracies in the film, overall it does a good job of representing life during that time period. For example, the movie accurately depicts the conflict between the Sioux and the Pawnee tribes. It also shows how difficult it was for white people to communicate with Native Americans since they spoke different languages.
One inaccuracy is that the Sioux tribe shown in the film actually lived further north than where the movie takes place. Another is that the Sioux in the movie are shown as being very peaceful, when in reality they were often at war with other tribes.
Despite these inaccuracies, Dances with Wolves is generally considered to be a accurate portrayal of life in the American West during the 1860s.
In his film Dances With Wolves, actor Kevin Costner attempts to eliminate any preconceptions the viewer may have had about Native Americans being a barbaric and inhuman people. He accomplishes this by first prying apart the enigma of the Indians, and then allowing us to feel connected to them and their way of life.
We next come to a genuine regard for them as people and individuals, and we side with them in matters of loyalty. This motion picture is able to accomplish this purpose through a variety of methods and strategies. As the plot unfolds, we follow John Dunbar’s (Kevin Costner) life and experience his emotions, which causes us to arrive at the same conclusions that he does.
The first method that the movie employs is to make the Indians seem like a very spiritual people. We see this in the very beginning when Dunbar arrives at the Indian village and he sees them dancing and singing around the fire. To him this seems like some kind of pagan ritual but we later come to understand that these dances and songs are part of their religious ceremonies. Another example of this is when Kicking Bird (Graham Greene) is performing the pipe ceremony. The Indians use tobacco in a ceremonial way to connect with the spirits and ask for guidance. This scene shows us how committed they are to their religion and how seriously they take it.
The second tactic used by the movie is to show us the Indians as a peaceful people. We see this in the way that they treat their prisoners. Instead of torturing or killing them they simply keep them captive until they are ready to be released. We also see this when Dunbar first arrives at the Indian village and he is greeted with open arms even though he is an outsider. The Indians are very welcoming and hospitable to him.
The third strategy used by Dances With Wolves is to have Dunbar slowly assimilate into the Indian culture. When he first arrives he is wearing traditional white man’s clothes and has all of his possessions with him. Over time he starts to dress like the Indians and starts to leave his things behind. He also starts to adopt their customs and way of life. This process of assimilation shows us that the Indians are not a savage people but instead are a very welcoming and accepting culture.
The fourth and final tactic used by the movie is to show the viewer that the Indians are fighting for their land and their way of life. We see this in the scene where Dunbar and his men are attacked by the Sioux. The Indians are shown to be brave and courageous in the face of danger. They are also shown to be loyal to their tribe and their way of life. This scene shows us that the Indians are not savages but instead are a proud and noble people.
Dances With Wolves is a very accurate portrayal of the Native American Indians. The movie does an excellent job of showing us their spirituality, their peacefulness, their willingness to accept outsiders, and their pride in their culture. This movie is an important part of history and should be required viewing for all students.
From the start, we have empathy for John because he is injured and tries to die bravely. This sort of acceptable suicide provides a sense of aimlessness and melancholy. We naturally want to join in with John’s feelings and hang on for the ride since most people have felt similarly before.
The Pawnee Indians’ first encounter with actual Native Americans comes when they mock the stupidity of white men and call for their destruction. This tribe kills Timmons, a wagon driver who drives John to his new fort, thus we feel that our preconceptions are correct, yet we do not see things from John’s perspective and so remain open to change. It is only through John’s experiences and sentiments that we come to genuinely care about what is occurring in the film.
When we see the Indians hunting buffalo on the plains it is with a new set of eyes, through John. We see the skill and beauty in their traditions and this is reinforced when we see Kicking Bird’s daughter, Stands With A Fist, teaching John the Lakota language and customs. It is only through John’s interactions with these people that we learn to love them as he does and feel great sadness when they are forced to go to war.
One of the main points in “Dances With Wolves” is how the film depicts the Native Americans before and during the time of white settlement. The director, Kevin Costner, does an excellent job of painting a picture of what life was like for these people. He shows us their hunting and gathering techniques, their ceremonies and rituals, and how they interacted with the natural world. He also shows us how the arrival of the white man changed all of this, often for the worse. The film is very accurate in its portrayal of Native American culture and history.
One scene in particular that stands out is when Kicking Bird’s daughter, Stands With A Fist, is teaching John the Lakota language. This is a beautiful moment that really shows the viewer how rich and complex the Native American culture was. It is also a sad scene because we know that this way of life is soon to be lost forever.
Overall, “Dances With Wolves” is a highly accurate portrayal of Native American culture and history. Kevin Costner does an excellent job of bringing this lost world to life on the big screen.