'Reel Injun': Film Looks at Stereotypes of the Hollywood Indian

February 09, 2011

February 9, 2011 — The documentary, "Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian," which takes an entertaining and insightful look at the portrayal of Native Americans through the history of cinema, will be screened on Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Virginia's Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room.

Karenne Wood, director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will lead a discussion after the film is viewed.

"Reel Injun" traces the evolution of cinema's depiction of native peoples from the silent film era to today.

Hollywood has made more than 4,000 films about Native-American people over 100 years, defining how Indians are seen by the world. Traveling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond looks at how the myth of "the Injun" has influenced the world's understanding – and misunderstanding – of native peoples.

With candid interviews with directors, writers, actors and activists, including Clint Eastwood, Jim Jarmusch, Robbie Robertson, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell and Russell Means, the film includes clips from hundreds of classic and recent films, including "Stagecoach," "Little Big Man," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Atanarjuat the Fast Runner."
Rescheduled from January's series of events to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.,  the event is sponsored by the American Indian Student Union, Office for Diversity and Equity, Office of the Dean of Students and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

— By Anne Bromley

Media Contact

Anne E. Bromley

University News Associate Office of University Communications