The Most Moving Documentary I've Ever Seen
B. A. Brown | Minneapolis, MN United States | 06/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As movies and TV (except HBO) become so stupid and banal as to be unwatchable, I find myself watching more and more documentaries, and this is the best I've ever seen.
Unlike Ric Burns "The West" (which covers everything from the Conquistidors in Mexico to the Indians of the Northwest), this focuses almost entirely on the unending battle for the great plains between native americans and the whites. The photography, the narration, the actors readings, and especially the music are first rate, all lending to a sense of inevitable tragedy.
To me this seemed very balanced in presenting both sides of the story. It documents the breaking of treaties and the atrocities committed by Indians every bit as much as those committed by whites. There are several very graphic photos of white men mutilated by Indians. (This is NOT for children.)
I'm at a loss to understand the previous reviews saying this portrays "all white Christian men" as evil and all Indians as victims. Over an hour is dedicated to just the Battle of the Little Big Horn. How does that portray Indians as helpless victims?
The fact that these reviewers feel this is an attack on all white Christian men tells us much more about those reviewers than it does about this incredibly moving documentary."
Powerful and moving documentary
tintintoo | Chicago | 04/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know what ax the previous two reviewers had to grind. The documentary gives balanced views from both sides of a very complex story. There are amazing images. This is one of the best documentary series ever produced. I am a college professor and I regularly show episodes to my Introduction to America Studies class. The students say it teaches them things they never learned in American history classes before."
A compact version of the West history
I. Chiang | Silicon Valley, CA, USA | 02/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen both this film and Ken Burns' "The West", twice for each. Although this piece is not as long, detailed and comprehensive as Ken Burns' marathon version on the West, it is still a good piece. At least, it serves as an introduction, or is suitable for people who don't like heavy loads.
As the subtitle says, it only covers the years from 1845 to 1893. This arrangement is good enough for most people since most events happened during this period, including Custer's Last Stand, Chief Joseph, Red Cloud's War, Fort Laramie Treaty, Sitting Bull, Buffalo Bill...and so on. In addition, views from both red and white men are presented, which I think it quite balanced.
The story about native people is just one part of the history in the West, which is the main focus of this DVD. For those who want to know more, for example the Mormons, transcontinental railroads, Texas, Gold Rush...etc, I recommend Ken Burns's version.
Overall, I regard this piece as a warm-up for the American West history."