Geronimo Essay, Research Paper
The movie Geronimo: An american Legend is an excllent piece of cinamotography. Jason Patrick and Robert Duvall, as usual provide the mvie with memorable characters. The moviie is shown trough the eyes of Lt. Britton Davis(Matt Dillon) who is sent to assist Lt. Carles Gatewood in Geronimo’s (Wes Studi) surrender. Geronimo is then placed in the San Carlos reservation. A dispute between a the military and the indians results in an indian massacre and Geronimo flee’s fron the reservation. Geronimo forms a small band of indians who then go out and sekk retribution by killing settlerrs and miners. Gatewood and Davis the search for Geronimo who has gone south of the border. Through the assistance of an apache scout they eventually track Geronimo and his band down. After a discussion between Geronimo and Gatewood he surrenders and is sent to reservation land in Florida.
What particularly sets Geronimo apart from many westerns is it’s potrayel of native americans. Many westerns potray indians as blood thirsty savges that fight and kill settlers. In Geronimo the viewer is allowed to see things trough their eyes. One particular instance of this is in the indian massacre seen. The scene opens with a medicine man and a small group of indians involved in a religeous ceremony. The military did not look favorably upon medicine men, who they belived preached against the white man and instigated rebellion and conflicts. A small cavalry is sent to break up the ceremony, yet the indians pay no attention and contnue the cerimony. At this point one can clearly see how indians were often not given equal rights as a people, most notably religeous freedom. In what is one of the grisslyest scenes of anti-indian violence, the medicine man is lassoed, beaten and then shot. Of course this pushes all the other indians over the edge and violene errupts resultin in many dead indians. Of notable interest is the films depiction of Gen. Crook , and his effectiveness in dealing with the indians. Crook treats the indians with respect and attempts to reason with them. Crook speaks directly to Geronimo and explains to him what his orders are. Crook knows native Americans are intelligent and attempts to communicate with geronimo to control his people. Similar to Crook is Gateways methods of dealing with indians . Intead of trying to just give indians orders and shooting any of them that opposes, he attempts to reason with them. Gatewood has much respect for Native Americans and has learned their ways and language. These traits make him ver effective in dealing with tha Appaches. He uses Apache scouts to track Geronimo, knowing that the scouts know the land and indian mentality. All these things contribute to his success in capturing Geronimo at the end. Providing a yang to General Crooks yin is Gen. Nelson A. Miles (Walter Hill). Miles methods in dealing with the indians is entirely different. Through Miles eyes indians are savages that must be corraled into reservations to keeep them from terrorizing “real Americans”. Miles doesn’t attempt to reason or see things from the indians perspective. He simply enforces orders, uing deadly force if neccasary.