Native Americans and Cinema



The representation of Native Americans in mainstream films throughout movie history corroborates the story of colonization of indigenous peoples and their homelands beginning in the sixteenth century, with Spain, France, England, and Portugal claiming ownership of "America" and the "New World." There are more films than books written about Native Americans, whose designated film role became known as the "Indian." The "Indian" in movie portrayals established a film stereotype that continues to serve the marketing interests of the highest-grossing entertainment industry today. In 1995, with reported earnings of $31.9 billion that year, the Walt Disney Company released an animated version of Pocahontas , a story perpetuating the view of "Indians" as obstacles to British explorers arrived to civilize the "New World."



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