50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances

From Wes Studi to rez life to Clint Eastwood’s famous outlaw film, they’re all in this special Free Report!

Dear Fellow Movie Lover,

  • If you’re tired of stereotypical movie “Indians” …
  • If the lack of strong Native movie characters makes your head hurt …
  • If you can’t bear to watch yet another movie featuring non-Native actors in Native roles …

We have good news. Not only are there some truly wonderful films out there featuring powerful Native characters, intriguingly realistic Native story lines and incredible Native actors – we’ve compiled a list of the very best into one single resource that you can download FREE.

Read 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances for FREE right now!

That’s right: This must-have reference is absolutely FREE, because here at Indian Country Media Network, we’re passionate about accurate representations of Natives and Native concerns from Hollywood, whose influence on modern society is immense.

And while Hollywood has much to answer for in the Native community, we’ve found some encouraging signs there, as well as in the indie film industry. It’s all here for your enjoyment, and we know you’ll want to keep this Free Report handy so you can easily identify your next movie rental!

It all started in 1913 …

Believe it or not, the first feature film to include a Native cast was Frank Moore’s Hiawatha, which was released in 1913. The role of Hiawatha was played by Seneca actor Jesse Cornplanter, a descendent of that 18th-century Seneca war chief, while Soon-Goot, an unknown 17-year-old Indian actress, played Minnehaha.

Sadly, the movie-going public (read: non-Natives) was more interested in watching white men attacking the Indians (played by more white men in face paint and wigs) for many years. But that kind of insensitive storytelling eventually became unpopular as the more culturally sensitive 1970s arrived, leading to the list we present to you today.

So when you check out 50 Must-See Modern Native American Movies and Performances, you’ll be able to …

  • Identify movies about Natives that you’ll actually enjoy watching
  • Learn about some of the most important moviemakers and actors in the American Indian community
  • Gain insights into the reality of Indian life and the issues Indians face today
  • Appreciate the efforts of American Indian artists and others in creating films everyone can enjoy without distaste or dissatisfaction

And with so many options for finding movies both past and current for buying, renting or streaming, now is the perfect time to start digging into these movies and even collecting your favorites. It’s a great way to support Natives in the arts, and those non-Natives who also understand the issues and both write, direct and cast sensitively.

Indies to Oscars

You may be surprised to see the range of films included in this Free Report. It delivers everything from modern classics, such as The Outlaw Josey Wales – in which Natives’ historical trauma was represented realistically for the first time in a major film – to Mekko (2015), which earned rave reviews for its realistic portrayal of poverty and drug and alcohol abuse by Native peoples.

Oscar-winning films with Native actors and/or realistic portrayals of Natives include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dances with Wolves and the current blockbuster, The Revenant. For all the films included here, you get little-known details as only a Native voice would uncover, such as the inclusion of Dances with Wolves in the Congressional National Film Registry for being “culturally significant;” or that Avatar, known as an animated children’s movie, delivers the Native perspective on colonization without explicitly stating it.

This Free Report covers a huge range of film types: Humor, tragedy, thrillers, animation, science fiction, documentary, superhero movies and more – in short, something for every film fan. You’ll read about …

  • The first film written, directed and acted entirely in Inuktitut, which is considered one of the top 10 Canadian films of all time
  • A new movie produced by the Chickasaw Nation
  • A film about a Native lacrosse team playing against prototypical prep school athletes
  • An adventure film set 700 years ago about the Innu First Nation
  • A documentary that exposes the film industry’s stereotypical portrayal of Native people since the inception of moving images

These are just a few of the 50 movies that you’ll want to watch right away. The themes addressed by Native artists are equally diverse, ranging from strong mothers, to the Trail of Tears, to the realities of rez life, both tragic and comic.

Why you’ll trust the recommendations in this Free Report

You may have seen other lists of films that are purported to be of interest to Natives, but most of those lists come from movie reviewers, who may or may not understand the Native point of view.

But our Free Report is compiled by Vincent Schilling (St. Regis Mohawk tribe), a photojournalist, award-winning author and producer, public speaker and winner of a human rights award in Virginia Beach, VA for programs he created on Native American issues in the Hampton Roads region.

Vincent also won a Bronze Editorial Excel Award for the Winds of Change article, Conflict on the Mountain, featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Indian Country Today, and has just released his fourth and latest book in the Native Trailblazer series on Native Environmental champions entitled Native Defenders of the Environment.

As you can imagine, Vincent’s view of Native films is just as powerful, truthful and authentic as the films themselves.

What’s more, this Free Report is published by Indian Country Media Network, the leading voice for and about Native issues today. There are few resources with more respect and a deeper understanding of Native cultures than Indian Country Media, which delivers in-depth, culturally sensitive coverage of Native Peoples and their many cultures, accomplishments and history.

Indian Country Media is an internationally recognized news service owned by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, but its award-winning journalists cover all peoples.

All of that makes this Free Report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances, a must-read reference for any movie lover seeking the best in Native films and acting performances. It is a testament to the new presence of Natives in the arts, where they have been overlooked for much too long.

So we urge you to download 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances right now, while you’re excited about adding new movies to your collection of favorites. We predict that you’ll wind up binge-watching some Native performances very soon!

Best regards,

The Editors

Indian Country Media Network

PS: Remember, this reference to the best in Native-influenced films is absolutely FREE. Download it right now!

PPS: Here’s a teaser in case you haven’t stopped reading and downloaded this Free Report already:

Pow Wow Highway (1989)

The film follows the exploits and travels of Philbert Bono (Gary Farmer) and Buddy Red Bow (A. Martinez), who must travel from the Cheyenne reservation in Montana to Santa Fe after Buddy’s sister is arrested. The film, directed by Jonathan Wacks, is one of Indian country’s most popular modern classics. Pow Wow Highway won the Sundance Filmmaker’s Trophy and three Native American Film Festival Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Pow Wow Highway is entertaining in part due to the conflict of traditional and contemporary realities as exemplified by Buddy, who is a Native activist, and Philbert, a spiritual man guided by visions.

Download this Free Report now and grab the popcorn!

 

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50 Must-See Modern Native American Movies and Performances

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