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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,
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This review is from: Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (HBO) [DVD] (DVD)
Ethnic cleansing wasn't invented in the 20th Century although it was first called that in former Yugoslavia in the 1990's. Under another name it is what happened in the American west about a hundred years earlier when native Americans were forced from their ancestral lands after being there for a thousand years or more because the whites wanted their land for settlement, the railroad and mining. The nail in the coffin came when gold was discovered in the Black Hills of Dakota, which was sacred to the Lakota Souix and the whites coverted the land and wanted to exploit it for their own unrichment.
White Americans who broke every treaty they ever made with native Americans at first tried to bribe them and when that did not work they took more forcible measures culminating in numerous massacres, including the one at Wounded Knee.
The film is centred around the events before, during and after this terrible occurance and focuses on the life of a member of the Lakota Souix tribe (played by Ada Beach) who was removed from his tribe as a teenager, educated in the east as a good white American and went to work in a resettlment camp in the west where the Lokota Souix, under their much respected chief Sitting Bull were located. He witnesses the bullying, humiliation and oppression endured by the native Americans and came to empathise with their plight but to no avail.
Beach and Aidan Quinn as a US senator and one of the masterminds behind the resettlement plan are excellent and the film potrays well the disintegration of the native American's way of life and a crime against humanity that is without precedence in the modern western world. It is dramatic, moving and deeply sad and only the remnants of these people exist usually in positions of inferiority or as tourist attractions for white Americans whose ancestors were responsible for putting them in this position in society.