Download Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and by Michelle H. Raheja PDF

By Michelle H. Raheja

In this deeply attractive account Michelle H. Raheja bargains the 1st book-length examine of the Indigenous actors, administrators, and spectators who assisted in shaping Hollywood’s illustration of Indigenous peoples. because the period of silent motion pictures, Hollywood videos and visible tradition normally have supplied the first representational box on which Indigenous photographs were exhibited to non-Native audiences. those motion pictures were hugely influential in shaping perceptions of Indigenous peoples as, for instance, a loss of life race or as inherently not able or unwilling to conform to alter. in spite of the fact that, movies with Indigenous plots and subplots additionally symbolize at the very least a point of local presence in a tradition that principally defines local peoples as absent or separate.
Native actors, administrators, and spectators have had an element in growing those cinematic representations and feature therefore complex the dominant, and customarily unfavourable, messages approximately local peoples that films painting. In Reservation Reelism Raheja examines the background of those local actors, administrators, and spectators, reveals their contributions, and makes an attempt to create optimistic representations in movie that mirror the complicated and colourful reports of local peoples and communities.

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Additional info for Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film

Sample text

Through intervention in the production side of film representations of Native peoples in particular, such as the construction of identities, political activism, and language preservation, Native entertainers engaged the place of Indigenous communities in popular culture. Native peoples in the pre– and 31 Toward a Genealogy of Indigenous Film Theory post–studio system shaped visual modes of sovereignty to reflect Indigenous knowledges through these activities. Native American actors and filmmakers expressed visual sovereignty by creating performances of the “Indian” for various reasons, such as the search for economic opportunities to alleviate poverty, provide a decent living for their families, and escape oppressive conditions on their own reservations.

Whether or not the petition reached its intended audience, Native Americans since the inception of the motion picture industry — from spectators to filmmakers — have found various ways of counting coup on Indian representations and rendering these images acceptable on their own terms. Life on the Virtual Reservation Native American media-makers and spectators have enacted agency in Hollywood through functioning as trickster figures and transforming their experiences with visual media into Indigenous epistemes, as Standing Bear and the Anishinabe delegation demonstrate by counting coup on film stereotypes of Indians.

Yet we can still attempt to consider how cinematic images structured their experiences in order to explain cinema’s place of importance among Native communities and the ways in which Hollywood was influenced by Native Americans. Through subtle forms of aesthetic diplomacy, the many Native American actors who played racialized roles in the first half of the twentieth century and the spectators who read their “inferences” performed an important function by attempting to convince directors and production agents to alter aspects of film scripts to conform more closely to early twentieth-century Native American sensibilities.

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