Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Why exactly does every drama involving non-white protagonists have to include a white character? Irritated me for years.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West” (Dee Brown)

And Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was probably too depressing to adapt for television without tweaking it a bit. I mean, otherwise the white man is the force of evil in the world, and we wouldn't want to acknowledge genocide as part of our cultural heritage: bad for ratings. Better to make some changes to history.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - TV - Dee Brown - HBO - New York Times
But the fact that Mr. Brown’s work has been translated into 17 languages and has sold five million copies around the world was not enough to convince HBO that a film version would draw a sizable mainstream audience. When the channel broadcasts its two-hour adaptation of the book, beginning Memorial Day weekend, at its center will be a new character: a man who was part Sioux, was educated at an Ivy League college and married a white woman.

“Everyone felt very strongly that we needed a white character or a part-white, part-Indian character to carry a contemporary white audience through this project,” Daniel Giat, the writer who adapted the book for HBO Films, told a group of television writers earlier this year.

I'll still watch the show, but too bad Dick Wolf decided to dance on Dee Brown's grave. Read the book if you haven't, harsh reality is a good antidote to fuzzy Hollywood narratives.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 9, 2007 9:22 AM.

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