Film review #1

Ishi: The Last Yahi


Thus far this semester, we have considered some major implication of how colonialism has affected the state of Native Americans over time in different contexts. For example, Smith outlines how colonialism and research has resulted in an array of detrimental results for indigenous people. She also offers concrete solutions as an act of being post-colonial. In effect, she has linked an indigenous and western past and how research has gone hand in hand with a colonial project to subjugate indigenous people. But by uncovering this history, Smith has articulated this history in order to change the colonial mentality and conduct research that results in the SURVIVAL of indigenous culture in the present day, for the future.

The first film is about a native man who was considered the last member of his tribe. This event originally took place in the early 20th century in northern California. Basically, the meta-narrative for Ishi is that his tribe’s history was impacted by colonialism, first by the Spanish, then by the American period. He survived by various degrees of SARP. As well, anthropology was being practiced and Ishi ultimately became a living exhibit where scientists were researching Ishi in order to construct knowledge of him and his people. In terms of LHA, Ishi was the authority, but ultimately, the anthros would retain the authority based on science. Since this movie is a recent re-examination of Ishi, anthros, and the context of the late 19th and early 20th century, we have a new version of this story of Ishi, science, colonialism, and how this incident became a hallmark for researching indigenous people.


With this in mind, write a review that addresses the following:

  1. What was the State of Native America in the late 19th century and how did influence the application of anthropology in researching Native Americans?

  2. How did western social institutions play a part in the understanding of Ishi in the popular culture of his day, and how do you think Ishi is viewed in a more contemporary context?

  3. What does this film offer you in terms of researching indigenous people and communities; that is, what can we learn from this film’s content?

  4. Your personal evaluation of the film.


This film review needs to be at least two pages in length, typed, 12 point font, and written in essay form (intro, body, and a conclusion and/or summary.

Film Review #2

Oren Lyons: The FaithKeeper


For this film, think about how history, culture, and tradition have intersected with the present and future. Oren Lyons, the Faithkeeper for the Onondaga Nation (of the Six Nations), discusses several issues regarding their tribe’s history and how their historical evolution is used today. With this in mind, write a film review that addresses the following questions:

  1. How have origins played a part in the understanding of today’s world?
  2. How does Oren Lyons’ authority reflect certainty about the past, and the future?
  3. How do you suppose this film reflects and supports the aim of AIS and the use of traditional knowledge?


This needs to be typed, written in essay form, 12 point font, and it should be at least two pages.