Native Americans on Film: Conversations, Teaching and Theory

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The film industry and mainstream popular culture are notorious for promoting stereotypical images of Native Americans: the noble and ignoble savage, the pronoun-challenged sidekick, the ruthless warrior, the female drudge, the princess, the sexualised maiden, the drunk, and others. Over the years, Indigenous filmmakers have both challenged these representations and moved past them, offering their own distinct forms of cinematic expression. Native Americans on Film draws inspiration from the Indigenous film movement, bringing filmmakers into an intertextual conversation with academics from a variety of disciplines. The resulting dialogue opens a myriad of possibilities for engaging students with ongoing debates: What is Indigenous film? Who is an Indigenous filmmaker? What are Native filmmakers saying about Indigenous film and their own work? This thought-provoking text offers theoretical approaches to understanding Native cinema, includes pedagogical strategies for teaching particular films, and validates the different voices, approaches, and worldviews that emerge across the movement.