Into the Hollywood West
I just watched episode one of Spielberg's Into the West and I was disappointed. I tried to approach this with an open mind and I was entertained by real native actors - how refreshing is that! But I'm confused at the instances of Injun-speak ... that Tonto-esque language ... written into the dialogue. If the producers and developers had the good sense to feature real Lakota language in the show, why not feature an authentic story line instead of the usual iconic schlock? We always have to see a young boy on his vision quest romantically, dramatically coming of age and receiving his new prophetic name - in this case - Loved by the Buffalo (hardly a step up from Dances with Wolves) And then we see the tragic Lakota woman tenderly cared for by the sensitive white guy who can protect her from the nasty wild west ruffians. Please. All those people smelled bad, even the sensitive white guys. Let's be real. I'm really hoping for comments by someone in the know about the native writers and consultants who contributed to this project. Please, please tell me I'm so wrong. You know, none of this would matter except for the fact that Episode 5 (this was episode one, so four weeks from now) features content about the Carlisle Indian School. I'm planning to watch every week to learn the family tree in order to place the Carlisle characters. I am keeping my fingers crossed that TV audiences can meet an authentic character. There are so many resources available to writers today, most notbably, real descendants of students who lived the Carlisle experiment and who can influence a script into an authentic presentation. I predict, judging by the first episode's stereotypical story line, I'll be wrong. Unless, of course, I completely misread (misviewed?) this evenings program. I'd love to be wrong about this.