Well, back to made-for-TV movies. We spent the holidays with family out of town and during the week spent several nights watching the entire series, Into the West. Overall it's excellent and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the west, particularly the history of the Indian Wars.
The film, all 9 hours, follows an extended family, part white, part Lakota, from 1825 to 1890 ending with the massacre at Wounded Knee. It's a kind of fictionalized version of the book, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," which is an American History book that everyone should read. If you think you know American History, I guarantee you do not. The interesting thing is that it's not alternative history or pseudo history the way some books are, but a slice of history that was not in your high school books.
Anyway, I'm glad that someone like Spielberg got behind this and got it made because it's truly exceptional in it's scope and also gripping and emotional in it's story telling. There are a couple of pretty strong Father/Daughter moments that had me (as the father of a daughter) getting a little misty eyed. It was also very well done in terms of it's historical accuracy and set dressing. Really very good. And, as the owner of tipi (which I've spent a good deal of time camping in) it was a blast to see all the tipis in it.
Hmmm. Interesting. In building the links above, I just read a few reviews of Into the West on Amazon and apparently the DVD version has been edited from the version shown on TNT. Apparently some of the more graphic footage has been cut out of the Wounded Knee part. Considering how brutal it actually is that's saying something. Curious. I wonder what the story is with that. It's certainly out of the norm for DVD versions.
Oh and in case anyone's wondering, this American Indian thing is kind of close to my heart. You can check this out. It's an organization called Futures for Children that my wife and I have been involved with for a number of years that is really great.