Native Languages of the Americas: American Indian Movies and Videos
This page is our collection of links to good movies by and about Native Americans, for sale online.
If you would like to recommend a Native American movie for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know!
Sundance feature about a friendship between two Couer d'Alene men, written by Sherman Alexie. Laura just saw
this one, and it's every bit as good as Orrin and Rebecca suggested. Powerful, funny, touching, and compelling
for Indians and non-Indians alike. Native cast, director, and writer, shot on site at the Coeur d'Alene reservation.
Lakota Woman - Siege at Wounded Knee:
The story of the American Indian Movement, based on Mary Crow Dog's autobiography. Orrin recommends
this one as moving and authentic, with an impressive performance by Irene Bedard as Crow Dog.
Dance Me Outside:
Canadian movie tells a coming-of-age story set on an Ontario reserve. We haven't seen it but it gets good reviews.
War movie revolving around the Navajo code-talkers of World War II. There are mixed reviews as to whether it's any
good or not, but the actors are native and the linguistics of it are sound.
Bambi in Arapaho:
A collaboration between Disney and the Arapaho Nation resulted in this charming version of the classic "Bambi" with
Arapaho-language soundtrack. Nice for introducing kids to a native language.
Spirit of Crazy Horse:
Acclaimed documentary about AIM and the struggle for Native American rights. Laura's seen this one about 27 times
because it was on the curriculum when she taught in Pittsburgh. It's definitely a documentary, so don't rent it expecting
late-night entertainment, but it makes a top-notch class discussion tool.
Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story:
Robert Redford documentary about AIM activist and political prisoner Leonard Peltier. We haven't seen this one
Dances With Wolves:Dances With Wolves, Special Edition:
Epic Kevin Costner western. Frankly, Laura thought it was rather dull, but it was very popular and did win a bunch of
Oscars. Native cast (except for Costner), and the film was wonderfully full of English-subtitled Lakota conversation,
the best part of the movie in my opinion. Orrin was fonder of the actual plot, calling it "a little silly but sweet."
This is an incredibly violent movie. According to the advertisement this movie is PG? When Orrin saw it there was a
recreation of the Sand Creek Massacre that lasted about 15 minutes, soldiers gorily slaughtering civilian after civilian
after civilian. Well that is certainly an accurate portrayal of the massacre, but I wonder who wants to watch that scene
for 15 minutes. Other than that it was a lot like Dances With Wolves (cultures clashing, touching love story, idealistic
soldier trying to do the right thing, Indians trying to survive.) Just don't let your kids watch it. It is not PG.