Essay On The Movie Thunderheart

Decent Essays

The 1992 film, Thunderheart, directed by Michael Apted and written by John Fusco, portrays young FBI agent, Ray Levoi, who is a quarter Sioux Indian, investigating a homicide case on a Native American reserve. The movie incorporates themes of self-acceptance and discovery as Levoi reflects on who he is and discovers not only himself and his culture but the ugly truth about the reserve. There is a scene where Maggie questions Ray on whether he is Indian or not, he only agrees because wants to speak with the old woman, but you can visually see the disgust as he says yes. This is the same disgust he had when Coutelle mentioned that they were 'his people'. Which is ironic, because at the end of the movie when Crow Horse refers to the …show more content…

Maggie strives to be improve her community and assist her people. She has devoted her life to their rehabilitation by earning a degree from Dartmouth to be able to organize local control of the schools and form a women's shelter. After this inspiration had shocked Ray, he comes to yearn for the same connection she has with her people as he never got chance for isolating that part of himself. Thunderheart incorporates much of the Native American culture from the nicknames to the powwow. Ray is referred to as many things including Sal, meaning fake little Indian and kola, meaning good friend. (Carly 9) A powwow is where Ray followed Crow Horse and Reaches to; it is a ceremonial gathering involving singing, dancing, and feasting. The introduction to the movie accurately depicts the Indians performing the Ghost Dance which was said to be done when the messiah has come down to Earth to salvage the Indians. (Weiser 2) Symbolism is a key feature in Thunderheart as it is for the Native Americans. When asked about Leo's murder Reaches mentions that he sees an owl, a symbol that someone will die. Ray sees that same owl before he finds Maggie's body in the mining field. Ray is told by both Crow Horse and Reaches to listen to the water, which we later find out that the water has become contaminated because of the mining fields. This is an example of how the indigenous

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