The movie this week is a classic (which means it is slightly older). It is titled “Little Big Man” and details the fictional story of a white boy named Jack Crabb, who is taken in by the Cheyennes and grows up within this nation. Though the movie (and the book upon which it is based) are fictional, it deals with historical events, including General George A. Custer’s attack against Black Kettle’s Cheyennes at the Washita River in 1868 (which I did not mention in class) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. Black Kettle was the chief of the town at Sand Creek that had been attacked by Col. Chivington in 1864. Here are some questions as you watch the movie:
- Are there stereotypically “good” and “bad” Indians in this movie? If so, which tribe is the “bad” one? What makes them “bad”?
- List at least four things that you learn about Cheyenne culture.
- How is General George Custer depicted in the movie?
- This movie was made while the United States fought a brutal war in Vietnam. Some scholars claim that this movie was in many ways criticism of the Vietnam War. In what way is the movie-making a statement about the United States’ treatment of “foreign” peoples?