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Native American Cinema Classic!
on November 13, 2006
"I want to tell you a story as it was told to me." This is the thesis of this wonderful three hour film. A grandfather tells his grandson (who has forgotten how to be an Indian) the Native American legends. The grandfather is a dreamkeeper who orally keeps the legends, culture and history of his people alive through stories passed down. Shane is a modern day 17 year old on the Res (the actual Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota) who embraces the gansta lifestyle.
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!