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The Education of Little Tree (1997)

James Cromwell , Joseph Ashton , Richard Friedenberg  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

Price: $59.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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The Education of Little Tree + Trail of Tears - A Native American Documentary Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cromwell, Joseph Ashton, Tantoo Cardinal, Mika Boorem, Christopher Heyerdahl
  • Directors: Richard Friedenberg
  • Writers: Richard Friedenberg, Don Sipes, Earl Hamner Jr., Forrest Carter
  • Producers: Jake Eberts, Laurie Marie Parker, Lenny Young
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 12, 2002
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V1XI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,864 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Education of Little Tree" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie With Heart February 19, 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
As a Native American I am well aware of all the blatant stereotyping out there. What I like about this movie is the underlayment of good values. Yes, there is the moonshining, and it was illegal and booze has definitely had a detrimental effect on all races of people. However, this just showed that people during those times were really scrapping to keep their lives going. The Grandparents were not sitting around drinking. As with Casinos, they were selling their product to Dominant culture people. No, I am not a drinker and I teach abstinance.A perfect moment if parents are watching with their kids(as they should), to field children's thoughts about it. Do some teaching.
I wonder how many people know that during the Depression when other races of people were just hungry and homeless, Indian peoples across America- some people literally starved to death. On the bottom economically. Only 75 years ago! In our country?
The connection of the people to the land and nature was very evident, but, understated, and they were not stereotyped as turning into mystical beings, but, rather, being one with the beauty around them- poor but rooted there. My humble Grandparents also took me to rock ledges and the woods to pray. Showed reverence for all living things.
Someone has mentioned that characters were stereotyped as typical of mountain people. I would like to say that one of the reasons I like this movie is that I was very moved by the way a filmmaker set down scenes and family interractions that I experienced. There are people still alive who I have known well, who are good nurturing souls like the Grandparents and John Willow. Even now, in Hollers and on country cowpaths, there are folks like these, believe me.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a heart warming movie that is a must to be seen! September 12, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Despite the fact that the book on which the movie was based was a fraud (sold as an autobiography, which it wasn't), this movie was wonderfully done. Growing up in the East TN and Southwest Virginia mountains with a Scotch/Irish Grandpa and a part Cherokee Grandma, I saw a lot of our family in this movie. It is true to the depression era of East Tennessee (and yes, a lot of children participated in moonshining). I highly recommend the movie to everyone. It's a shame that movies like this have to be made in Canada, but other than "Smoke Signals" so far all the truer stories of Native American People are. Maybe one day our country will accept our heritage and do this.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Warm January 22, 2005
Format:DVD
The Education of Little Tree is one of the best keeper movies I have had the pleasure of watching in years. My 18 year old son watched it 3 times in 2 days. My best friend loved it, and cried during some of the touching scenes. The few places where there are curse words used are unfortunate, as there are families who would completely enjoy this movie, but won't buy it because of a few words. I have native ancestry and thought this movie was respectful to my background. This movie left me warm and wanting more of the same.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping March 11, 2006
Format:DVD
These days I watch the first scenes of a DVD rather cautiously, waiting to see if I'll get hooked. To my surprise, this DVD was totally absorbing: the beauty of the countryside and the even-handed portrayal of story and characters.

I actually liked the way the child got involved in the moonshining action, showing how it's hard to define activities as "good" or "bad." Many citizens believe the moonshine laws did more harm than good, like the war on drugs today.

I also liked the way the movie gave us an ending that was satisfying but not sugary. Bad things happen. The child was learning to differentiate between nature's cruelty and invented human cruelty.

And I don't think the whites were stereotyped as bad. The grandfather and his fellow moonshiners were a great bunch. The church scene was a little extreme but offered some much-needed comic relief.

Why four stars and not five? After watching the video, I learned the author's story, and I felt a little cheated. But after reading reviews by native Americans and Cherokees, it's reassuring to know the film managed to tell an accurate story. When I lived in Alaska, I heard many horror stories about the way governmet treated Native Americans. No surprises on that score.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Education of Little Tree August 23, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I am buying this video for my 8 yr old grandson. He needs to know this factual part of U.S. history, but there are many other lessons to be learned from this movie. It is beautifully done, entertaining & enlightening. Each time I watch it, I am amazed by the wonderful cinematography, and also moved and inspired to search my own soul and examine my own life. I only buy movies that I can watch repeatedly and still discover something new each time. This one is a movie I could never tire of seeing. It's terrific.... "And you can have them clobbers too!"
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite movies June 7, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
this movie will go into my library and be treasured for years to come. while it touches on the 'sensitive' issue of the persecution of Native Americans, it maintains a good connection with the 'white' sector of america as well bearing in mind little trees 'roots' (half native american half white). everyone will relate to the tender relationship between little tree and his grandparents while still getting a realistic idea of the plight of native americans in having to relinquish their children to missionaries running so-called schools, and the abuse children had to suffer at the hands of these individuals. the balance of tenderness and reality is well-done and i found myself smiling frequently...nevertheless, a tear a two did fall, but in real life tears and smiles intermingle. Recommend for people of all ages, and all races and ethnicities.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This movie looks cool
Published 10 days ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Excellent movie. Very realistic account of the Indian boarding schools.
Published 19 days ago by Joanne White Thunder
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork of cinema
This film is a masterpiece. It needs to be reissued rather than having to buy very expensive rare copies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James R. Messenger
4.0 out of 5 stars Great supplement for class assignments!
Though it was not exactly like the book, I was able to use this movie to develop compare and contrast assignments between the book and the movie for my class. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tameka
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story. I bought it because I couldn't find ...
Good story. I bought it because I couldn't find my old VHS tape (I'd recorded off TV). I showed it to my 8 y.o. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Grumblybear
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend Education of Little Tree to everyone
I recommend Education of Little Tree to everyone. It is such a pure, unadulterated movie and story about a young part Cherokee boy in the early 1930's about..... Read more
Published 3 months ago by See Gee
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a perfectly wonderful choice. It is so touching and...
I ordered this for my grandson and I to read together. It was a perfectly wonderful choice. It is so touching and historically correct. It is now a family treasure at my home.
Published 3 months ago by Neva Conner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
While the movie is different from the actual book by the same name, the story it tells is extremely close to what actually happened to the Cherokee children. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ginnie
5.0 out of 5 stars "Touched My Heart"
My great-great-great grandmother walked the trail of tears. I know first hand the hardships my family had to endure being Cherokee. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Janice Irwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits home.
I am Chippewa, and this movie has my favorite stars in it..Cardinal Tantoo and Graham Greene....I buy all movies that has either of those stars in it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeannette Lawson
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Wow you are right, I just noticed how ridiculously expensive this movie is.
Oct 27, 2008 by Sun Set |  See all 3 posts
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