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The legends of American nations come to life.
A century-old storyteller and his grandson, a troubled 17-year-old boy, embark on a cross-country journey toward self-discovery. Like Old Pete's wise tales themselves, DREAMKEEPER is important and illuminating storytelling for the entire family.
While it doesn't hold together as a three-hour TV drama, Dreamkeeper should prove enthralling to anyone interested in Native American myths and legends. A variety of tribal folklore provides the episodic thrust of this typical Hallmark production, which relies too heavily on digital effects--and the plodding direction of Hallmark regular Steve Barron--in telling the story of a resentful Lakota teenager (Eddie Spears) who reluctantly agrees to drive his wise old grandfather (August Schellenberg) from their South Dakota "rez" to an All-Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along the way, the tradition-bound elder serves as tribal "dreamkeeper" for his initially resistant grandson, who gradually realizes that his grandfather's stories--visualized through effects-laden reenactments involving all manner of magic and mystery--are essential in preserving the fading cultures of the Lakota and the several other tribes whose folklore depends on unbroken generations of oral tradition. While some of the lavishly dramatized tales can stand alone as authentic Native American myth-making, Dreamkeeper lacks the overall structure that could've given the stories a cumulative magical impact. Still, it's an admirable attempt to introduce neglected cultures into the television mainstream. --Jeff Shannon
- The Making of Dreamkeeper
- Native American History and Facts
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Top Customer Reviews
Taking this into account I was a little bit cautious about 'Dreamkeeper' which I received as a Christmas present from my sister. How very pleasantly suprised I was. The story starts on the Pine Ridge Reservation and a young man - Shane - being co-erced by his mother into taking his Grandfather hundreds of miles away to the All Nations Powwow in New Mexico. Shane reluctantly agrees and so the real story starts.
Along the trip the Grandfather - a storyteller - relates stories that are relevant to Shane in understanding events happening in his own life and that of some of the people they meet along the way. I won't divulge too much else about the story except to say that Shane meets his estranged father and there is a reconciliation between the two. By the end of the trip Shane has also 'found' that there is more to himself than he believed.
The stories presented are great in terms of detail to attention, covering a broad breadth of Native American cultures and never neglecting humour - love the ugly woman in the cave. The acting performances are exceptional; Eddie Spears who plays Shane makes an excellent stroppy teenager (I work with them on a daily basis!). Sheila Tousey is as excellent as ever - has that woman ever acted anything less than superbly?
I cannot recommend this film highly enough, it explores so many issues and emotions like hope, faith, desire, anger and in a simple yet meaningful way. It will appeal to most new-ager types, but given my own respect for the film it will also appeal to a much broader spectrum of people.
By the end of the story you'll discover like Shane has that each of us as to walk the road of life (Good Red Road). Shane story is parallel to perhaps an ancestor of his named Eagle Boy who lived a thousand years ago. They are both on a Vision Quest (unknowingly to Shane). One of the many wonderful things about this film is that it doesn't just focus on the Lakota Nation legends, but many others for a more fuller experience. I will focus on a few major legends below to give you insight on the film:
1. Legend of Bluebird Woman and High Horse (Lakota): This is truly a treasure and the first of the many legends told by grandpa to hopefully help Shane resolve his conflicts (internal and external). You learn that a man's worth is in the good deeds he does. A real woman wants to be won with honor and not simply given away.
2. Legend of She Crosses The Water And The Thunder Spirit (Mohawk): This is almost like a dream world in the sky. This is truly visually stunning and another legend about love. You'll learn that we must always honor and respect the power of nature.
3. Legend of Tehan, The Red-Haired, White Kiowa (Kiowa): This is based on an actual story of a white man who became a true Native American. You will realize that a man's heart and spirit are more important that what blood he comes from.
4. Legend of Dirty Belly And The Dun Pony (Pawnee): This legend is truly inspiration, because it teaches that you should never count anyone out, because the least can have the ability to be the greatest. This legend has a message of faith during hard times.
5. Legend of Quillwork Girl And Her Seven Star Brothers (Cheyenne): This has to be my favorite legend, because it's simply dreamy! This is a creation story about the Big Dipper, showing us how dreams can guide us. We all should follow our dreams to realize our true destiny in life!
6. Legend of Raven (Chinook): This is a story of unselfishness, which Grandpa obviously tells Shane to inspire him to stop being so selfish and to start thinking about others. One must always think of community first in times of hardship.
7. Legend of Ekuskini And The Ghost Hunter (Blackfoot): This is a story about letting go and leaving the ghost of our past behind so we can embrace our future. We must all let go of our parents, while keeping their love deep within our hearts.
Shane Chasing Horse is a dynamic character, because he is not the same person he was at the beginning. We can learn a lot from our elders, and Grandpa makes sure that he tells Shane the importance of the stories in the sacred oral tradition. This film is a cultural treasure and the production value is as good as any blockbuster. I learned a lot about Native Americans and it made me proud to experience part of my own culture. After seeing this film no one will look at Native Americans again as those guys only used as props for John Wayne to resolve his conflict and become the the hero. In this filmatic masterpiece you'll discover many Native American heroes who will inspire you to walk the Good Red Road!
The bonus soundtrack is a treat as well, and for the price this dvd is a bargain! You will be truly enlightened and entertained! To be honest, I watch this film at least five times each year and I never tire of it, because it always leaves me wanting to know more about the Native American legends that helped shape a great people. God is Love!
Dreamkeeper is an excellent film! Of 88 speaking parts, 87 were Indian, about time.
The camera work in this film is outstanding. The stereo cameras provide an almost
perfect match to the workings of the human eye---these facts from the special portion of the DVD.
Perhaps the most meaningful thing to me, are the legends from the Old Ones of our tribes. Have Cherokee blood from both paternal and maternal sides of family and Creek from paternal bloodline as well.
Some of our relatives were taken to Oklahoma to reservations there. The herding of our people to these pens broke the spirits of many. This, in my opinion, led to the reservation conditions we see today.
The stories are listed in other reviews here and will not duplicate the excellent efforts put forth there. The fact that Indians are shown telling the legends of our people is very meaningful.
Thank you to Robert Halmi,Sr and Jr the Producers;
John Fusco, one adopted into the Nation, for his Script;
Director of Photography Jon Hoffin;
Music by Stephen Warbeck;
and the directing by Steve Barron.
This is and outstanding work by so many of the Real People. Recommend it highly.