John Sayles is known for making affecting, critically acclaimed films, among them Matewan, Eight Men Out, Passion Fish, and Lone Star. He recently announced that his next project will be To Save the Man, a film about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
The title comes from the dictum of Capt. Richard H. Pratt, the school’s founder: “Kill the Indian, save the man.”
Pratt will be featured in the film, and played by a well-known actor. Maggie Renzi, Sayles’ partner and the film’s producer, told Peninsula Daily News that she and Sayles would soon be conducting a nationwide search for 13 young Native actors, ages 14-22, to portray Carlisle students.
The former Carlisle facility, in Pennsylvania, is now the U.S. Army War College—a circumstance that prevents Sayles from filming To Save the Man on the original location. He and Renzi have annnounced that they will make their movie in Port Townsend, Washington.
Renzi told Peninsula Daily News that she and Sayles aimed to make a historically-accurate film that could go on to be shown in classrooms. “These movies can be useful tools to get students to talk about what the issues are,” she said.