Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|We Shall Remain|
Actor: Benjamin Bratt
Directors: Chris Eyre, Sharon Grimberg
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
They were charismatic and forward thinking, imaginative and courageous, compassionate and resolute, and, at times, arrogant, vengeful, and reckless. For hundreds of years, Native American leaders from Massasoit, Tecumseh, ... more »
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Truly ground-breaking, truly Beautiful
CGScammell | Southern Arizona | 04/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's about time that something like this is produced, and what better director to use than Chris Eyre as director? He is at his finest in this work, capturing foggy rivers, haze-free sunsets, ample forests filled with flora and pigs and actors dressed in appropriate era clothing. The quality of the film itself is worthy of awards. This is truly a gift from his heart.
Benjamin Bratt's gentle voice adds to the narration. He doesn't get overly emotinal when telling the story, as the scenes you watch at the same time say it all. You are left to yourself to realize the brutality of that time.
This is a three-disc set totalling about 470 minutes. Produced in widescreen, even on my CRT set I get a near-full screen.
The first episode, "After the Mayflower" opens with 1621, the year the first settlers arrived off the shores of southeastern Massachusetts. The research that went into this work is incredible, with many scenes spoken in the native language, in this case, Nipmuc. The first Thanksgiving is realistically portrayed: not with turkeys and cranberries, but with venison and wild berries.
The second episode, "Tecumseh's Vision" demonstrates how the War of 1812 came to be: Natives, who had sided with the British during the American Revolution (can you blame them?) now found themselves on foreign land. They were pushed westward, west of Appalachia, where more battles ensued with the settlers and frontiersmen and trappers from France along the Great Lakes region.
The Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers hold great history for both the Shawnee and the people who eventually settled along its banks. The "Vision" however, was the loss of the first peoples who had lived along its banks.
The "Trail of Tears" completes the second disc.
The most emotional episodes are on the third disc, "Geronimo" and especially "Wounded Knee," the episode that explains in 1973 news footage and interviews with some of the participants the reasons for the "occupation" that resulted in one death. Wounded Knee encapsulates the forming of the Native activism, when all tribes united to preserve their languages and cultures and demanded equal rights before the law.
If there is one flaw in this production it is that it doesn't include more episodes of the other tribes that suffered: the Nez Perce at Big Hole, for example, or the Battle of Litte Big Horn. Like one tribal member mentioned in the "Wounded Knee" episode: "Every tribe has its memory of violence (with the US government)" and to document them all would take up much more footage and disc space than is given here.
Still, it's a beautiful production that leaves any viewer sighing "Wow!" at the end.
This documentary is from the Native American's point of view, but the transcript does not just weigh heavily with the Indians: facts are not twisted or left out. When angry Wampanoag went from village to village to kill settlers, we know that they had reached a boiling point with Old World trespassers that would only get worse as the years went on.
Your relearning for the truth of the Native American story b
JediSushiChef | Western U.S. | 05/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The reviewer before me gave an excellent blow-by-blow of the series...and I concur with that assessment. However, I want to add something more big picture about what this series suggests.
This excellent series about the Native American story will leave many surprised to the effect of "Gee, I had no idea."
As a white American with some experience in tribal matters; this review is not only a recommendation for this series, but a plea of sorts with the general public to learn and understand more about the culture and lives of our Native American sisters and brothers.
I say, with all due respect: "PLEASE wake up."
Many of the stories in this series, which we hear from the Native American perspective, we learned in school through the Anglo lens with the following overtones: Indian savage... Indian bad... Troublemaker... Nonconformist... Enemy of progress... these were the stories we read in school, along with watching the bad guy "Injun Joe" on the movie screen in that 1970s Disney version of Tom Sawyer.
Throw out all that garbage you have learned. Stop. Rewind. Reboot your hard drive...now learn the truth through this amazing and educational series.
I see this series as merely an introduction to what should be a higher calling for us as Americans; Anglo, Native, Black, Asian, or Latino. For those of you who are inspired by the stories told in this DVD series, it's your job to go out and seek more of the truth that is hinted at in what are a collection of five main stories for each disk: Before the Mayflower, Tecumseh's Vision, The Trail of Tears, Geronimo, and Wounded Knee.
At the very least ~ if you have a pulse ~ it should change your perspective on who we are as Americans. It seems to start mellow and peaceful with the first Thanksgiving, but the story sadly and quickly turns sour.
Instead of upholding and learning something from Native Americans (gee, imagine that), religion (of course) misunderstandings (wow, imagine that again), and operating on old belief systems get in the way of peace and trigger a horrible domino effect. You'll soon understand why we're a spiritually and culturally poorer nation than we should have been after witnessing the accounts of leaders drunk with power, the U.S. Government's land grabs, and a shameful, despicable, systematic decimation of tribal America through bait & switch treaty tactics, blatantly illegal relocation of entire tribes, boarding school brainwashings, abandonment, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.
The accumulation of the stories will make you want to vomit.
Simply put, the series will leave you pondering how it's a far cry from the more culturally rich, fair, diverse, shared, and equitable society that we should have inherited.
It's the stories and hardships that aren't told - which contain more truths that substantiate those told in the series - that need to be discovered through more film, books, and perhaps some personal experience of your own. Taking an active role in the preservation, enlightenment, and support of thriving Native American cultures and their future could be one of the most significant and personally rewarding decisions you ever make.
Seek out a Native American cultural center in your part of the country; make it a modest staycation of sorts in a lean economy. Attend a pow wow ceremony or the like that allows for outside visitors. Support local tribes. Give to their schools. If your a doctor or looking at being one, consider putting time in at an Indian health center - a place that could REALLY use your help.
You might even discover something about yourself...and the road of discovery and reeducating yourself can begin with this DVD series."
A great documentary
Future Watch Writer | Washington, D.C. Area | 05/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent PBS series that really brings the past to light. The first two shows are really the best. The first show clearly reveals how the religious bigotry and predatory environmental and economic policies of the Puritans made any hope of peaceful coexistence impossible. A particularly grim fate awaited the "Praying Indians", who had accepted Christianity. During King Philip's War the Puritans put them in a concentration camp in the middle of winter for "security reasons", where most of them died. A good book you might want to read with this DVD is North American Indian Ecology. You might also want to watch a previous video series on Native Americans 500 Nations.
The stories of these individual Native American leaders span
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 06/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We Shall Remain is a three-DVD thinpack set collecting five documentaries from the acclaimed PBS history series "American Experience", about Native American leaders including Massasoit, Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow, all who did everything they could to resist being forcibly removed from their land and preserve their culture. Their strategies ranged from military action to diplomacy, spirituality, or even legal and political means. The stories of these individual leaders span four hundred years; collectively, they give a portrait of an oft-overlooked yet crucial side of American history, and carry the highest recommendation for public library as well as home DVD collections. Special features include behind-the-scenes footage, a thirty-minute preview film, materials for educators and librarians, four ReelNative films of Native Americans sharing their personal stories, and three Native Now films about modern-day issues facing Native Americans. 7 hours.