“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”
In keeping with the week of Thanksgiving and following up on my recent viewing of “Woman Walks Ahead,” last night I watched “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” This movie came out in 2007 and is billed as a “historical drama television film” and was adapted from a book by Dee Brown. It was produced by HBO Films and features a solid cast that includes Adam Beach, Anna Paquin, August Schellenberg, Aidan Quinn, and even Fred Thompson as President Ulysses S. Grant.
As much as this movie tries to be a history of Native Americans in the American West from the mid-1860s to the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, it is more of an account of a portion of the life of Charles Alexander Eastman. A man with Santee Dakota Indian ancestry mixed with English and French, Eastman is a most fascinating person in American History. Educated at Boston University, he worked for the U.S. Government in various capacities and served as the Doctor that attended to the injured at Wounded Knee. The movie has no time to include recognition of Eastman as one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, and “one of the most prolific authors and speakers on Sioux Indian history” as reported in a 1914 edition of “Indian Scout Talks.”
This movie is much more factual in its accounting of events than “Woman Walks Ahead” but admirably conveys the emotion and sentiment that carried the day among the whites and Native Indians in Western America during this 25-year period of American History. 4 stars.