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Dreamworks to film Navajo nation's war?

NavajoReservation.jpgThere are many untold tales, or indeed mistold tales, of our past, and perhaps one of the greatest is that of the taking of America and the destruction of the American Indians and their way of life. Now Dreamworks looks set to try and tell that story after acquiring the rights to an epic book that tells the story of the destruction of the Navajo nation.

According to Variety through Coming Soon, Dreamworks have purchased the rights to Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West which chronicles the war between the Navajo nation and the white man from the 1820's until the late 1860's.

The editorial review from Publishers Weekly on Amazon.com covers the story far better than I could write it:

Sides depicts the complex role of whites in the subjugation of the Navajos through his portrait of Kit Carson-an illiterate trapper, soldier and scout who knew the Native Americans intimately, married two of them and, without blinking, participated in the Indians' slaughter...Of course, as counterpoint to the progress of Carson and other whites, Sides details the fierce but doomed defense mounted by the Navajos over long decades. This culminated in their final, desperate "stand" during 1863 at Canyon de Chelly, more than a decade after a contingent of federal troops-operating under a commander whose last name of "Washington" seems ironic in this context-killed their great leader, Narbona.

That certainly does suggest a tough and uncompromising look at these times. I wonder if it's something that will be watered down on the route to becoming a film, or whether there will be a stronger non-US desire to see a film like this. Where do you come from and how do you feel about seeing a story such as this, perhaps the closest to actual events of young America that we've seen to date?





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Comments

Out of curiosity, why do you believe the tale is untold or mistold? Even in Elementary School, we learned about the Trail of Tears and battles with and abuse of Native Americans. Of course, I live in a state that served as a destination and has a high Native American population, but I always assumed (naively?) other states taught the same thing.

As far as movies are concerned, I'm not sure how accurate more recent movies have been, but they definitely do not sugar-coat the conflicts. Geronimo with Wes Studi would be one example.

Has the information been filtered differently across the pond?

Well talking history at school then I was taught next to nothing about it, but in the film genre I haven't been aware of many films that tell the story accurately.

All my knowledge has been gleaned as I discovered stories from around the world about Britain abroad and wars in Africa and learnt by association.

It's not too surprising Scotland wouldn't teach that part of U.S. history. In fact, other parts of the U.S. may not teach it. My main point is that nobody is trying to hide that history, and it's still causing us problems today.

I do think the synopsis above is a disservice to the book and potential movie. By linking his marriages (to Arapaho and Cheyenne) to the battle with the Navajo, the author introduces a hint of racism. The first few paragraphs of this article from Wikipedia make the point on race:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Wars

Regardless, it will be an interesting movie as the book sounds more balanced than the editorial above.

I don't think there's any suggestion that it's being hidden, just not being told, or seemingly not being told to some cross sections of people.

I'd hope that the film does more service to the book than a blurb does, I hope this in any case because a blurb is just that and tries to condense the story far too much.

That said I think the focus is going to be on the turncoat idea of the trapper Carson. If you look at it just from a film and scripting point of view then that is a perfect hook for the story.

However my hope too is that they pay more service to the history of events than script hooks and effective plot twists.

Powerful story.

We should remember that every civilization is built over the skulls and bones of many people.

I leave judgements to the judges, though.

Oh yes, don't think for a second that I'm singling out America with my comments. For example Britain has it's own terrible stories.


Not to talk about Spain (aherm)! In Babylon 5, it´s implied somewhere that conflict is what makes humanity progress. Maybe we are too stupid to do it otherwise.

Yeah, that's a common thing I've heard (not just in the stunning B5). Humanity makes its biggest and best inventions and progress during times of war.

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