Reel Injun
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Native American and Aboriginal peoples have long played a part in Hollywood filmmaking, but the picture presented of them was not always flattering or accurate. Most westerns of Hollywood's Golden Age presented "Indians" as either ruthless savages with no sense of honor or fools who were lost without the help of the white man. (Adding insult to injury, they were usually played by white actors in make up.) However, as issues of Native American rights came to the forefront in the 1960s, more filmmakers stepped forward to offer a more positive and thoughtful portrayal of Aboriginal… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Reel Injun is not a peace pipe but a convincing case for a place at the table."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Both the talking-head interviews and montages trace distortions and puncture myths with professional rigor."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"At its heart this is a well made, provocative made-for-television documentary, a mix of movie clips and talking head interviews."
‑ Jason Gorber, Filmfest
"A powerful, mythbusting documentary which manages to humanize America's unfairly-marginalized indigenous peoples, albeit belatedly."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
"There are gaps here and there, but it provides a fascinating introduction to a corner of film history that has gotten too little attention."
‑ Pam Grady, Boxoffice Magazine
"Setting off in his barely road-worthy "rez car," Mr. Diamond films a series of bittersweet, and sometimes bitingly funny, encounters."
‑ Mike Hale, New York Times
"Combining a road trip from his native Arctic reservation to Los Angeles with an archival cinematic survey, Diamond's treatment of each is perfunctory to the point of inutility."
‑ Andrew Schenker, Village Voice
"Though stricter selectivity would not have harmed this documentary, its enthusiastic embrace is instructive and moving."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"The debate over the evolution of the movies' depiction of native peoples is not always on the mark."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"For Diamond, Reel Injun is a highly personal odyssey, undertaken in an attempt to reconcile the realities of his native childhood with the natives he saw portrayed on screen."
‑ John Coulbourn, Jam! Movies
"Reel Injun will most likely give you a new perspective the next time you watch John Wayne battle Native Americans."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Entertaining and informative."
‑ James Adams, Globe and Mail
"A fascinating, well-researched documentary that simultaneously informs and captivates the audience."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"Exhaustively explores Hollywood's perpetuation of mythical misconceptions through footage from the nearly four hundred culturally distorted westerns, contrasted with corrective feature films made by aboriginal directors across North America."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
More reviews for Reel Injun on Rotten Tomatoes