Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Movie Review

I very much enjoyed this movie, there is so much symbolism that if you are not careful you may miss them. In my personal opinion the concept of the changing of Ohiyesa’s name is one of the most powerful. The name is a person is given or the name he/she chooses symbolizes a lot; it becomes a major part of your identity. The moment that the teacher forces Ohiyesa to choose a Christian, “white” name is extremely significant because in doing so she is forcing him to let go of a part of his identity. He is forced to give up his origins and beliefs and accept a new life and belief that he does not truly want and even know. His previous identity is insignificant to the whites, it has little to no value; so until he complies with the name change, among other things, he is invisible. He become unworthy of a voice. Charles is hesitant to the change because he understands it’s value, he doesn’t want to let go of his origins because he sees that they are more than the whites could understand.

The concept of land is very prominent throughout the movie. The difference of it’s representation and value between the Indians and whites is imense. To the Indians, land has a spiritual and religious meaning. To them, land is, it exists, it has a life; which can not be owned by men. It has a soul and a spirit and we live to serve it and be one with it. To the whites land is property and power. They want to conquer it and own as much as they can to show power and domination. This creates great conflict for the Indians for they are forced to go against their morals and beliefs in order to survive.

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