Steven Lewis Simpson

BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE

You know there are two prime things that struck me about HBO’s epic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee production that proved to me that the director and writer sadly didn’t understand the culture they were depicting. The first was that there was so little laughter in the film. Now I know times were hard then, but they are also hard now and the Lakota know how to laugh at themselves and their hardships.

The other more fundamental flaw was, where were the women? They were a matriarchal culture and certainly in the 19th century women’s rights were far more evoled in Lakota culture than white American culture. Certainly in my experience in contemporary culture they are at the forefront of most things and that’s after the European’s attacked the male/female balance of the culture.

Certainly the film was a beautifully made production but it’s sad to see that the Lakota were still depicted in too narrow a cultural range again. I hope I don’t sound bitchy about it because I respect those that made it. But the power of the women and the laughter are two of the elements that I love most about visiting with Lakota friends and so it saddens me to see it omitted.

Oh and the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is essential reading for everyone.

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