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‘Cowboys and Aliens’ Is Apparently About Reconciliation Between White Settlers And Native Americans

By Alyssa Rosenberg  

"‘Cowboys and Aliens’ Is Apparently About Reconciliation Between White Settlers And Native Americans"

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And I thought it was some goofy-lookin’ nonsense about Daniel Craig and a very expensive piece of jewelry. Jon Favreau tells io9:

We’re not revisionist historians here. There is a lot of talk about people killing people and the Apaches and the scalps. We started off with images from the Blood Meridian right off the top. It’s a dark world. Harrison Ford’s story about what he witnessed as a child with the atrocities committed upon the settlers and the Indians are saying all these terrible things have come from the white people … and they’re [both] right.

Instead of making it like they’re all playing nice together and they happen to be friends right off the bat … even Harrison Ford and Adam Beach — who clearly have a very strong bond, stronger in many ways than he does with his own son — he’s conflicted about that feeling. But yet, in his heart, he still looked after him like a son and is seen as such.

Who knew? After a summer where race is left out of a movie about the struggles of the ’60s, and Captain America blithely ignores the unintegrated realities of the American Army in World War II, it’s refreshing to hear a director call revisionism by its name and express hopes of avoiding it. I don’t think this movie, or every movie, has to be about aggressively forcing viewers to confront the difficult truths in America’s past, but accepting the truth for what it is and building your fictional world in response to it and in acknowledgement of it is good practice, and good storytelling. Conflict is generally more interesting than whitewash.

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