Geronimo - Native American Movie Listing
Geronimo successfully hid out from cavalry for an entire year before being captured. Starring Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman and Jason Patric, the movie is great in showing the deceptions the US government foisted on the Apaches - but it's primarily about the cavalry soldiers. I would have liked to see more from the Apache's side.
The basic story, for those who didn't take US history, is that most Native Americans had been rounded up and stuck on reservations by 1883. Geronimo remained out in the wild with a band of fellow Apaches. They were convinced to come in to a reservation. Geronimo then took off again with a group of followers, and the US Army hunted them down for a year before finally catching them and sending them to prison in Florida.
This is a true story, which means that there will always be many inaccuracies as the filmmakers try to make a watchable movie out of it. They did their best to keep the basic plot correct as well as the emotions and issues involved. I don't mind tweaks like that usually. The one change that did bother me was that Geronimo didn't just jump off the reservation because a medicine man told him to. In reality, he'd been warned that he was going to be lynched and hung.
I really appreciated the strong use of Apache language throughout the film. It always helps to keep a culture alive when you hear their words and phrases. I had mixed feelings about the scenery. On one hand it certainly was gorgeous! There were many shots that were simply stunning in their beauty. On the other hand, though, the scenery was all of Utah. This story is supposed to take place in Arizona and Mexico. Sure, they might be "similar" but nature was incredibly important to Native Americans. I really would have wanted to see the *actual* landscapes that these people were willing to die for.
I thought the acting was simply stellar. They didn't try to turn this into a blockbuster of gigantic battles - they tried to keep the people and situations true to the history. In general, there are no "good guys" and "bad guys". Geronimo was a great leader - but at times he let his desire for revenge get the best of him. Lt. Gatewood does his very best to do the "right thing" - even when he knows it'll lead a man he respects into a lifelong prison. When Geronimo asks General Crook why there isn't enough land for them all, Crook has no answer.
Very worth watching and considering that, in the grand scheme of history, this really wasn't that long ago at all.
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