War against the Indians

The history books lie.

Most of us recognize that, but it isn't until we're exposed to a counter- perspective like Harry Rasky's War Against the Indians that we understand the possible extent of those lies.

While this documentary doesn't make any declarations of objectivity, most of its claims ring more true than what we've been taught in our high school history classes.

War Against the Indians gives us the Native American perspective of the last five hundred years, beginning with the landing of Christopher Columbus (who, not surprisingly, is far from a hero in their opinion), and ending with the current treatment of Native North Americans.

Films like Dances with Wolves have attempted to present a different perspective of American Indians in fiction; War Against the Indians does the same thing in fact.

In order to better explain why Native Americans reacted as they did to the arrival of the White Man, producer/writer/director/narrator Harry Rasky spends time giving a condensed primer of American Indian mysticism.

While some of this may be a little tough to accept for those not brought up with similar beliefs, this background makes it easier to understand why the work of early Christian missionaries was viewed as offensive.

The plunder of North America is brought brutally into focus, both then and now. For hundreds of years, greed and gold justified atrocities. Today, forests are torn down and land is ripped up in the name of progress. War Against the Indians makes the telling point that despite man's apparent maturity as a species, there are some things that haven't changed over the years.

Most people probably believe that the Native American is treated far better today than five- hundred (or even one-hundred) years ago. While there's is no longer the wholesale slaughter of atrocities like Wounded Knee, open killing has been replaced by assimilation. The danger is no longer the genocide of a people, but the eradication of their culture.
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