Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Powwow Highway vs. Smoke Signals

Powwow Highway for the most part contained the majority of Native American Indian themes that we have seen in previous films and novels. The film begins with a white man explaining to the tribe how land mining on their reservation would create jobs and ultimately help them live more comfortably. Youngblood, the land-mining promoter, explains his point of view and ends his presentation by stating something along the lines of “…for your people”. This stood out to me because it shows how much western society has exiled Native Indians from today’s modern culture. I believe this is the reason Red Bow interrupted and made the claim that the only reason Youngblood was promoting land-mining was to benefit him, which is valid when discussing western society’s ignorance towards the land.
                Red Bow and Philbert have personality traits that are extremely relatable to those of Thomas and Victor. Thomas did not want to let go of his native culture and found happiness by trying to find himself by storytelling and gathering information from those who are wiser. Philbert is an introspective and lovable person in a process of seeking identity through traditional and mystical means, similar to Thomas’s philosophy. Victor and Red Bow seems to have the idea that the world is against them and find power to be the most important personality trait in order to find their true self. I believe the film Powwow Highway was made for a Native American Indian audience. I feel there are three types of Native Indians that we have discussed, two of which make up the main characters in Powwow Highway. The first type is seen in Philbert’s character, being the one who still has a connection to their native heritage. The second type is seen in Red Bow’s character, being the one who has the “fight the system” kind of thinking and needs power over others to feel comfortable. 

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