Saw the movie ‘Hostiles’ and liked it, probably not so much for the actual movie itself, but for the fact that the issues around the historic trauma from the Indian Wars, and subsequent establishment of reservations, are still being examined—if only in an artistic sense.
I thought, overall, the message of the movie was well-played by an excellent cast.
I do have to admit, however, toward the end of the movie, I couldn’t help but throw the bullshit flag a couple times. And I have to believe it’s due to Hollywood ignorance, and the prevalent belief that racial issues between whites and natives is a thing of the past—now just a nasty scar on the history of our nation.
I can’t help but think that if the screen writer, or anyone one of the producers, would have bothered to visit a present-day reservation of any one of the Plains Indians tribes, their story might have been told a bit differently.
The story takes place in 1892 when Army Capt. Joseph Blocker played by Christian Bale—a soldier who gained heroic merit for his gallantry throughout the Indian Wars—is ordered to escort dying Cheyenne war chief, Yellow Hawk, played by Wes Studi, and his family, back to their tribal land in Montana.
Embarking on the harrowing journey from Fort Berringer, N.M., they soon encounter a young widow played by Rosamund Pike, whose entire family was brutally butchered by Comanche marauders.
Though the group is rife with racial tension, they end up banding together to survive the journey beset by hostile Comanches and other vicious outliers.
Without giving away any spoilers, I will say there were certain scenes between Chief Yellow Hawk and Capt. Blocker that made me think: Nope. No way. Never would have happened.
Because IT STILL HASN’T happened today.
Still, it’s good flick, worth the price of the movie ticket if you want a vivid reminder that the atrocities of those times were carried out with equal measure on both sides.
That whole idea of absolute forgiveness and reconciled brotherhood though?
Someday, I hope…
And here, I’ll insert a shameless plug for my novel, No Dogs or Indians— a contemporary tale on what present day HOSTILES look like. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet.