Pochahontas: Ambassador of the New World
Susan Hillmeyer | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is excellent for educators to show. First show this movie and have students go over the facts about Pocahontas. Write all the facts down, discuss the movie. Then, show Disney's Pocahontas. Point out the many non-facts in that movie and compare the differences. After showing the two movies and comparing, have the students write Pocahontas: Fact vs. Myth. It is a lot of fun, takes 3 days of 80 minute block times and helps the students to see Pocahontas for the legend and the human she was.
An early diplomat
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 05/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This work does a great job as presenting Pocahontas as a diplomat. Her desire to get two groups to live peacefully and to learn from other cultures seemed strong.
I usually don't care for cheesy reenactments of history in documentaries. This work used that feature, but it helped a bit. It got tired seeing the same paintings and sculptures of key players here. The reenactments helped to break things up.
The documentary states that John Smith was 27 when he met Pocahontas of age 13. When actors portrayed the two, the female was significantly shorter than the male. However, the fact that their relationship would be considered statutory rape now was never brought up. In all fairness, a land that is not even a nation yet wouldn't have laws against such conduct. Please forgive the presentism here, but if the idea of older men kicking it with female minors bothers you, then you might not want to see this.
I was glad to learn more about this famous Native woman. However, I think differently when I put on my non-Eurocentric cap. If the Natives were on the land first, why should any Native feel obligated to "share the land" with newcomers? In David Henry Hwang's "M. Butterfly," a character asks, "Would we celebrate a white female leader giving up her claims in order to be with an Asian man the way we salute Madame Butterfly?" The same could be asked here. Would anyone cheer on a British girl who wanted the British to share the United Kingdom with foreigners? If a British or white American woman abandoned her culture to embrace an alien one that was a potential threat to America or Britain, would we be singing her praises 500 years later? I doubt it, yet this documentary doesn't raise these critical questions."