Hollywood opens its doors to Indian actors – Corriere.it

from Francesca Scorcucchi

In the United States, film production companies are increasingly paying attention to minorities

There was a time when Indians called themselves Indians or Indians, and in the cinema they represented the wild past, while whites were the bright future. Then things changed and the “natives” stopped rhyming with “bad guys”. Movies like “Dances with Wolves” And “The Last of the Mohicans”. Recently “The recurring one“Presented an Oscar to Leonardo DiCaprio, who used his acceptance speech to honor indigenous peoples and pledge to do everything to protect them.

DiCaprio, Kevin Costner, Daniel Day-Lewis: The main characters for a long time still continued to be white. The natives, though now on the right side, remained behind the scenes. Today, finally, in this new Hollywood, politically correct and increasingly aware of minorities, things are really starting to change. “Exchange», Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (who debuted on Disney +), the latest chapter in the saga of Predatorone of the milestones of sci-fi cinema, plays a young Indian actress with the appropriate surname: Amber Midthunder, mezzotuono.

Amber plays Naru, the girl who wants to succeed giving the alien Yautja a hard time no less than the muscular Arnold Schwarzenegger had managed to do in the 1980s. “A female heroine may be becoming the norm in Hollywood, but for a girl from a small tribe in Montana, the Fort Peck Sioux, to be the main character in a major science fiction film is not so obvious, and it’s a sign that something is really changing – says the young actress -. The portrayal of natives in the cinema is becoming very important to our society. In the days of the western epic of the last century, we natives had much harder battles to fight than our representation in the cinema. Now is the time to do something in this area too”.

And then together with Amber Midthunder, a small army of new recruits is doing something. For example, Devery Jacobs, Lane Factor, Paulina Alexis and D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai are the main characters in Reservation dogs», whose second season is about to be released in the US. The series, from FX and signed by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi (the director of «Thor: Love and Thunder»), Tells about the youth of four friends on an eastern Oklahoma reservation.

p.ierra Teller Ornelas, with comedy “Rutherford Falls”
which debuted on the Peacock last year (this series has also reached its second season), holds a record: it is the first Indian in the history of the small screen to be given the role of showrunner, a task not taken lightly: “In the first season we did something important, we showed the general public how Native Americans live in today’s American society. How they celebrate Halloween, for example. It is a serious matter, much more than it seems. The hypersexualized Pocahontas, for example, of whom we see dozens of condensed versions during the end of the Octoberfest, offends us. In the series we deal with these topics, albeit with humor and lightness. We try to tell about ourselves, to make ourselves known ».

Western culture too many times she moved in cinema like the classic elephant in the china shop. Brian Young is a filmmaker of Navajo origin: «At the beginning of my career I accepted everything. The choice was between giving up a profession I loved or accepting what was offered to me and thus being able to pay the bills. I carried pens, painted my warrior face, and the restlessness inside me grew. For us, those pens are sacred, but I had to build a resume, I had to accept to play shaman. Then one day I said enough. I would no longer have compromised with my spirituality, and now I finally don’t have to do it anymore”.

We are only at the beginning, but maybe today Marlon Brando he would not give up his Oscar, as he did in a sensational gesture in 1973, to protest the treatment of Indians in cinema.

5 August 2022 (change 5 August 2022 | 20.55)

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