"CSI: Miami" Butchers Indians
- Indian Comics Irregular #159
In April, "CSI: Miami" aired an episode about Indian gaming titled "Bloodline." How bad was this show?
* A county supervisor was responsible for legislating an Indian casino.
* The Miami-Dade police burst into the Indian resort as if they'd never heard of sovereign territory.
* One Native character applied to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for a "certificate of authenticity."
* The three Native characters turned out to be killers or adulterers.
From "Numb3rs" to "Veronica Mars," television seems to love stories about corruption in and around casinos. These episodes usually feature an Indian casino, not one of the many non-Indian competitors. And someone with Indian blood is usually guilty of something. It would be a shocker if a show depicted a tribal gaming enterprise without crime or corruption and noted how the revenue is going to build homes, schools, and hospitals.
See my full review of "Bloodline" at http://www.bluecorncomics.com/natv.htm .
On the Big Screen
In August, "Skinwalkers" (mis)appropriated the Navajo lore about shapeshifters for an action flick about good vs. evil werewolves. The reviews say it's a must-miss.
Meanwhile, several independent Native films--"Mile Post 398," "Four Sheets to the Wind," "Turquoise Rose"--are making the rounds of film festivals and reservations. Let's hope they get the exposure they deserve.
"D.C. Navajo," a short film that satirizes a Washington-based lobbyist, has stirred some controversy. Filmmaker Shonie De La Rosa claims the Navajo Nation's administration tried to censor his work, but the administration denies it.
Another controversy is brewing over the hiring of Q'orianka Kilcher to play the Hawaiian princess Kaiulani in an upcoming movie. Kilcher (Pocahontas in "The New World") is part Native, but the part is Peruvian, not Hawaiian. Writer/director Marc Forby says he scoured the islands for Hawaiian actresses but couldn't find any with the right combination of age and experience.
Reviewing the Classics
This year I've seen and reviewed several old movies about Indians. Here's how I rank them:
Win: "Drums Along the Mohawk" for presenting Indians as good Christians and harmless drunks as well as bloodthirsty savages. Rob's rating: 8.0 of 10.
Place: "Cheyenne Autumn" for setting the Oklahoma scenes in Monument Valley and using non-Natives (Ricardo Montalban, Sal Mineo) in key roles. Rob's rating: 7.5 of 10.
Show (tie): "The Unforgiven" for having countless Comanches sacrifice themselves in a futile attempt to recover Audrey Hepburn, their lost sister. Rob's rating: 7.0 of 10.
Show (tie): "The Light in the Forest" for its pouting white-boy-as-Indian and its "Davy Crockett"-style storytelling. Rob's rating: 7.0 of 10.
For all the Native movie news and reviews, go to http://www.bluecorncomics.com/namovies.htm .
My PEACE PARTY video
Work continues on the PEACE PARTY graphic novel. We're at the point of inking and lettering the final chapter. I trust this long-awaited effort will see the light of day in 2008.
To get the hype rolling, I've created a PEACE PARTY video and posted it on YouTube. It tells the premise of the series in a fun-filled minute. You can watch it on my website at http://www.bluecorncomics.com/contents.htm .
Blue Corn Comics