The film industry and mainstream popular culture are notorious for promoting stereotypical images of Native Americans: the noble and ignoble savage, the pronoun-challenged sidekick, the ruthless warrior, the female drudge, the princess, the sexualized maiden, the drunk, and others. Over the years, Indigenous filmmakers have both challenged these representations and moved past them, offering their own distinct forms of cinematic expression.
Native Americans on Film draws inspiration from the Indigenous film movement, bringing filmmakers into an intertextual conversation with academics from a variety of disciplines. The resulting dialogue opens a myriad of possibilities for engaging students with ongoing debates: What is Indigenous film? Who is an Indigenous filmmaker? What are Native filmmakers saying about Indigenous film and their own work? This thought-provoking text offers theoretical approaches to understanding Native cinema, includes pedagogical strategies for teaching particular films, and validates the different voices, approaches, and worldviews that emerge across the movement.
"Without a doubt, this volume represents a major contribution to the literature on Native film. Because of its wealth of insightful articles and fresh interviews with Native filmmakers, it should be an essential book for courses on Native film, indigenous media, not to mention more general courses on Native American studies and media studies where these topics are too often neglected. A very impressive and useful collection." -- Randolph Lewis, author of Navajo Talking Picture: Cinema on Native Ground
"Accomplished scholars in the emerging field of Native film studies, Marubbio and Buffalohead... focus clearly on the needs of this field. They do scholars and students of Native film a great service by reprinting four seminal and provocative essays." -- J. Ruppert, University of Alaska Fairbanks
"M. Elise Marubbio and Eric L. Buffalohead have succeeded in depicting the complexities in study, teaching, and creating Native film.... Regardless of an individual's level of knowledge and expertise in Native film, Native Americans on Film is a valuable read for anyone interested in this topic." -- Studies in American Indian Literatures