Aboriginal Representation in Films
Media representation of the early people or Aboriginals is largely dominated portrayals of their negative, as misfits or as problem creators for the white audiences creating an invisible distinction between them and the aboriginals.
Reel Injun is a documentary portraying aboriginals in America. The movie has includes interviews from several filmmakers and scenes from different movies portraying Native Americans. It accurately describes the stereotyping of natives by Hollywood. The movie tells in detail about how Hollywood has created a certain perception of Natives. Hollywood portrays Natives as wild humans who were not corrupted by civilization i.e. Noble Savage. If not as a Noble savage, they are portrayed as individuals who drank themselves to death. The documentary film sheds light on another important issue. It shows how Natives are not used by Hollywood to present their own ethnicity (Kurt, 2010). Hollywood, over a long period of time, has used Italian Americans and American Jews to portray native Americans. Iron Eyes Cody, an Italian by descent is an ominous example in this regard. The documentary film has also discussed movies that have depicted a native culture in an authentic way.
Rabbit-Proof Fence is an Australian movie based in 1931. It is based on a true story of three siblings that live in a native settlement located in Western Australia. The film follows and tries to capture the essence of distinctive lifestyles and orientations of both the colonizers and the Aboriginal settings. The movie is an accurate depiction of the native culture of the time and colonizers behaviour to the natives. The movie brings to light the issue of the Stolen Generation. Native children that were forcibly removed from their families by the white masters. The movie sheds light on exclusion and separation of aboriginals from white people by the imperialists. It reflects a mindset that differentiates between people based on the colour of their skin (Harding, 2006). It is, however, pertinent to mention that the movie was a near accurate depiction of an aboriginal culture owing to the use of aboriginal music and cast (D aeth, 2002).
D aeth, T. H. 2002. Which Rabbit-Proof Fence Empathy, Assimilation, Hollywood.Australian Humanities Review.
Harding, R. 2006. Historical representations of aboriginal people in the Canadian news media. SAGE Journals, 205-235.
Kurt, U. 2010. Reel Injun On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian. Journal of American Indian Higher Education, 61.
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