Friday, April 24, 2009

We Shall Remain - "Through Native Eyes"?

There have been some conflicting statements in the media about how much actual input Native Americans had into the PBS series, "We Shall Remain," currently airing on Monday nights on "American Experience". Hartman Deetz of the Wampanoag Nation commented on what his community has gone through in participating, to one extent or another, in the project: we shall remain episode one

As reiterated in the discussion there, while the series is certainly an improvement on some similar mainstream media projects helmed by non-Natives, I don't think any film or documentary can truly be called "through Native eyes" unless all the key roles in the writing, producing, directing and editing of the production are filled by Natives. While this project aimed at "inclusion," it's not the same as creative control.

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