The Hunter/Gather of Surburbia

Are we where we live?

November 5, 2011

Films that may have shaped who I am

I have known for a very long time that the Disney film, The Flight White Stallions began the shaping of my views of who the Nazis were/are. It was, of course, the horses that drew me in to that insight. The Sound of Music also added to the molding of my views. It seems that center of many of my views are horses. What my parents saw as a whim that really didn't warrant nurturing, a love horses, shaped who I am. Horses shaped my movie viewing habits, if it was a Western I watched it. Tonka, another horse film by Disney, and Run Appaloosa Run began to shape my view American Indians. Whether by design or happenstance Disney showed me how the treatment of American Indians by Whites was, well, not good. I was curious about Indians, Salem was home to one of the last Indian Boarding Schools. Actually, Chemawa is still there remodeled and housing American Indian youth needing a little extra help. We never heard or really knew what went on at Chemawa, the brick buildings were an imposing series of brick buildings. They were cold and not at all inviting. Those buildings are now gone, my historian side wishes they hadn't been demolished, but I think I may understand why they had to go. The newly Confederated Tribes rebuilt the school and now it is a temporary home to American Indian youth from many bands and tribes. They host Powwows and sports events. I recently watched Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman. That film shaped my view of how Whites fucked up the West, not opened it. While watching with my 54 yr old eyes, I realized that again it was the horse that shaped my views, not just the actions of idiots like Custer. How Indians rode, how they tamed, how they valued horses has been revealed to me in other films I cannot remember the names of. And it is their connection to the horse that hooked me into wanting to know about their history and indirectly the history of horses in the Americas.
Other films have shaped me, but I find in slightly different ways, Tora Tora Tora didn't make hate the Japanese, it made me want to learn about their side of WWII. Scarface made me wonder why Cubans had such political control over south Florida. Films about Hitler did not make marvel at his prowess as a leader, but why a man that nuts took control of country after country killing millions in his name and the U.S. did nothing until the Japanese blew up Pearl Harbor. Vietnam I saw on TV, live TV at times I think. It wasn't until I was in high school in the early 70's that it hit me as to what horrors the U.S. were. Ok, Air America was later of course and had Mel Gibson, but made total sense to me.
I think I have always been a closet liberal. Well, not totally closeted, but not vocal in public. Not sure why that still is, but it is unlikely that piece will change much. Especially since hardly anyone reads my little bloggings. As I sit here I am watching the Showtime Series Homeland, interesting to say the least. Thank goodness for Charter OnDemand! So if anyone does actually read what I write, please share your musings about films that may have shaped who you are.

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