Dances with Wolves (1990) Joby OstrofskyAction, Drama January 28, 2018Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham GreeneThe TruthDances with Wolves, the movie based on the book Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake, is not a true story or based on one, but one that depicts real people and certain aspects of history that occurred and withholds true facts.
The Sioux, or Lakota people as they call themselves, are the great plain indians depicted in the film with their way of the life and how they survive. The Sioux moved their villages wherever the buffalo were headed as depicted in the film and survived off of the herds of them, using every part of their body as something useful, not just the meat. The film portrayed this aspect with the end of the movement toward the frontier coming; with more whites settling, the buffalo slowly are killed off by the whites and are eventually all gone, leading the Sioux people towards the end. The conflict that occurred between the whites and the Sioux, as well as tribe war with the Pawnee is found as well. Real people portrayed in the film included the woman Cynthia Ann Parker also known as Naduah “Keeps Warm With Us”, portrayed as “Stands With Fist” in the movie.
When she was nine, her family moved to northwest Texas to follow the American dream, to live a better life. On May 9, 1836, about a hundred Comanche and Kiowa warriors attacked the fort they were at, killing most of the men including her grandfather. Cynthia and five other captives were led away, one teenage girl escaped, four others, including her brother John, were later released for ransom. Cynthia was treated poorly at first by the Comanche, but later her life improved, eventually marrying a Chief.The FilmDances with Wolves takes place some time during 1861-1865 during the Civil War in South Dakota, partly the Black Hills, and is a chronological story. It portrays the life of an American Union Soldier during the war, posted at a deserted fort in Sioux Indian territory. Lieutenant John J.
Dunbar, A Union Soldier, who wants nothing of his life after his experience and injury in his last battle with the rebels, is posted out to Fort Sedgwick in South Dakota; with all contacts knowing where he is dead, he is truly alone in Sioux territory. After small encounters Dunbar is finally introduced to the Sioux by saving a hurt woman, “Stands With Fist” and bringing her back to the Sioux. Dunbar learns with the Sioux and grows with them overtime with buffalo hunting and other events eventually learning their language and gaining their trust and loyalty, even getting his name Dances with Wolves, while playing with the wolf he befriended in the plains. After Marrying the woman he originally saved, he lives with the Sioux permanently. After being captured by soldiers coming to Sedgwick and accused of being an indian, the Sioux truly show their loyalty by saving him and helping him.
After the departure of Dunbar and his wife, Dunbar tries to help the Sioux as much as possible by explaining the frontier migration and tells them they need to move. Dunbar’s relationship with the Sioux show us the compassion and loyalty the indians have and the true greatness they obtain.ThemeThe most present theme in the movie would be Peopling(migration and settlement) because this film is based on the movement of two different groups of people, the white settlers and the Sioux Indians. The movements specifically described were the buffalo nomadic movement of the Sioux, and frontier settlement of the whites.
ComparisonOverall, the events of the movie are historically inaccurate, but prove to show the same ideas and types of events that occurred. Most of the plot is not true, but the factualities about the Sioux indian migrations and white settlement migration are true, as well as the conflict that occurred with the indians, when the indians battled the whites over the same dispute of land. Another aspect that is true is of the girl Cynthia, she was portrayed differently in the film as from another tribe, but same background story. Inaccuracies would be the story of Dunbar himself, along with playing with wolves, and idea of the Sioux escaping free at the end. Overall I really enjoyed the movie, the way the indians went along quick and clean, as well as the story line of a soldier who knew nothing but of cruelty of the indians; then becoming brothers and sisters with them, even finding his wife. I did not like the idea that the indians got away nice and free at the end, because in reality they were stopped; eventually all land was taken from them, and they were put on a reservation.
Should the truth have been portrayed better?Works Citedhttps://colinfalconer.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/the-real-story-of-the-indian-woman-in-dances-with-wolves/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakota_people