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American Experience: Geronimo and the Apache Resistance
American Experience Geronimo and the Apache Resistance
Actor: -
Director: Neil Goodwin; Jacqueline Shearer
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2007     0hr 56min

Separate myth from reality in the tragic collision of two cultures with dramatically different views of the world and of each other. For years, Apache tribes had resisted the advance of the pioneers and their threat to the...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: -
Director: Neil Goodwin; Jacqueline Shearer
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, Biography, History
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/24/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1988
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 0hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Diverse Relations and Dynamics
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 04/26/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"It's easy to be misinformed that the Natives were here first, the European settlers moved them out of the way, no group was diverse, and that's that. This documentary shows how more diverse and complicated matters were between the two groups.

Geronimo's family was killed by Mexican soldiers, not American ones. Geronimo's band didn't want to be removed from their reservation and forced onto the land of another Apache band. That rival Apache band helped the American military to find Geronimo's group. While one American military leader acted in a supremacist fashion, the leader before him treated the Natives with relative respect. The tensions between the two racial groups were not just addressed by bloodshed, but by diplomacy as well.

It's also easy to assume that Native groups were wiped out. Many were. However, this documentary shows living Apache who are proud of Geronimo. Just as Mayans still exist even as their ancient pyramids were abandoned, Natives are still here in the United States.

It saddened me when a Native man asked a Native boy in "Smoke Signals," "Who is your favorite Native American hero?" and the boy replied, "No one!" This documentary adds to what is out there about Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Wilma Mankiller, and many other important Native American figures."
A Broader Perspective
Sage Williamson | 07/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We Shall Remain has an informative episode dedicated to Geronimo, but I like this DVD better. What I liked about this DVD was that there were a lot of interviews with articulate and thoughtful people who were descendants of Geronimo or people involved with him some way during that time. The biggest difference between this DVD and the episode from We Shall Remain is that so many different, broader perspectives are presented.

As an example, one of the descendants who speaks in the DVD was related to one of the scouts that talked to Geronimo before Geronimo's surrender. In other versions, I've most often heard this presented as betrayal or portrayed as "Indians turning against each other." What I learned in this version was that there were at least two factions within Geronimo's own Chiricahua Apache tribe. Those who followed the chief and Geronimo, and those who no longer wanted to fight and went to live on the desolate reservation forced by the government. The views offered in this DVD explain how hard this was on the people on both sides and how they tried to work through this with each other but ended up in different places. The scouts who went to find and talk to Geronimo before his surrender were ultimately sent to the internment camp with Geronimo and his people. The descendant of the scout speaks of how this was truly betrayal by the government to the scouts, and yet how Geronimo was accepting of the scouts on the trip (which supports Joseph Bruchac's well-researched version of Geronimo as well).

I also think the psychological mindset behind Geronimo was explained more in this DVD, or the dots were connected more somehow. They spoke to how his resistance was directly related to the earlier murders of his family.

Did you know Geronimo was a medicine man and not a chief? That was a surprise for me to learn this after all I had read, this fact hadn't sunk in until I watched this DVD! Also, I'm also still amazed by the fact that a quarter of the United States army, 5,000 soldiers, were sent to hunt down the 39 of Geronimo's (and his chief's) group who were still in hiding. This DVD is full of relevant facts for history.

If you want history told from the people related to those involved (and one recording from someone who was actually there), this is the DVD for you.