Chris Eyre and Films about Native Americans
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In the article the author deals with 'minority cinema' as made by artists of Native American origins. He points out that until the end of 1990s Native Americans, or 'the Indians' were a group whose popular movie image was false and based on stereotypes rooted in classic westerns. The change of the perspective of the cinematic gaze on the Native American minority was brought about by the films of Chris Eyre, particularly his film 'Smoke Signals' (1998), which was a first ever film to be entirely produced by people of Native American origins. The great success of this film (as measured by numerous prizes and multimillion profits) played a role in stressing the great importance of the Native American identity. The Native Americans in this film are portrayed as real people, with real worries and cares, and not some ethnically determined wax figures. The question of personal identity is central to the film. The author also looks at film 'Skins' (2002) in which Eyre creates a new image of the Native American minority. He argues that Eyre's first two films created an interest in films about Native Americans and made possible for viewers to consider the Native Americans in a less stereotypical light.
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