“The only place we see Indians riding horses and living in teepees and speaking Indian is in movies, and I thought: this is where the majority of people get their ideas about native people. So I thought, there’s an idea for a film.”
Filmmaker Neil Diamond
CBS News interview with Stephanie Skeneris
Early this year I got a call from a producer in Denver, Colorado to shoot a documentary to be broadcast in Algeria. (One of the nice things about the Panasonic AF 100 is it shoots in PAL as well as NTSC.) During one of the interviews we shot in Elkader, Iowa someone mentioned that years ago when a contingency from Algeria came to Iowa and asked, “Where are the wild men?”
The people in Elkader had no idea what they were talking about, and it turned out they were talking about American Indians. The Algerian’s cultural reference to American Indians obviously being shaped by old Hollywood westerns. (Headbands, tomahawks, yelling. Wild men.) But you don’t have to live in North Africa to have had you image of American Indians shaped by Hollywood.
In doing this weeklong look at American Indians I just found out about a documentary called Reel Ingun. The film was directed by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond from Weskaganish. Quebec and in 2011 it was awarded a Peabody Award. I haven’t see the doc yet, but I did find some trailers online and it looks pretty engaging—and humorous. (There is some overlap in the following trailer, but mostly they all add a different perspective.)