#15 – Dances with Wolves – by Nick Andersen

Dances with Wolves-pic-review

Dances with Wolves is a 1990 adventure, drama and western film directed by Kevin Costner and written by Michael Blake based off of his novel with the same title. Don’t let the genre, western, make you look away in case you don’t enjoy them. I personally am not interested in the western times, much less films about it. But in Dances with Wolves, it is not centered on the modern day life of the people of that time. It is centered on the way of life of the forgotten Sioux tribe. If you are looking for entertainment, you will not find it in this film. This film teaches many lessons, and is about the bonding of people and the respect towards nature. A simple enough idea to have but ruined by another idea. The idea that one person decides that he/she is superior to others.


The Native Americans/Indians among many other tribes scattered around the world back then and some today, are the true examples of how we should all be living. The complete and without-a-doubt respect that we should have towards all of us, of all races. But when that fails, when one decides to take and be superior to another race, it is natural for the others to defend themselves. Here is the way of life, literally, and someone comes and destroys that. Perhaps back then violence helped, but today we are more civilized, yet we still feel the need to inflict violence on each other. This film really made me think and feel disgust towards the white people, because they are always the first to start a war.

Kevin Costner and Michael Blake did an excellent job showing us the personal and emotional relationship that the Sioux tribe had among themselves. I had the pleasure of watching the 3hr56m director’s cut and wow, what an experience. Nothing like any film I have ever seen. It is incredible to watch how the Sioux slowly trust and accept John Dunbar into their lives and tribe. At first the distrust and ready to kill at any moment, and then the curiosity that brings them both together. You forget you are watching a movie and you just observe and almost live it. In the end, I didn’t want it to end and also wondered how they could end this film. Although a fictitious story, it all ended just the same as in reality. A beautiful tale which unfortunately and eventually would end in the total genocide of these soul-of-the-earth people.

Let’s not let that thought depress us! Let’s talk about the performances. Kevin Costner did an honest goodhearted guy role. A white man who isn’t afraid of the Indians. One who doesn’t act like the white men that have been portrayed by the Sioux.
Graham Greene played the likeable Kicking Bird. Without him, John Dunbar would have probably been killed. He’s the type you would want as a friend. Calm and comprehensive.
I have to say, I am impressed by Mary McDonnell! What a fantastic job she did! She spoke the English words with such a thick Lakota (Sioux language) accent that you really believed she’s been with them all her life. At no moment did I notice an American accent slip.
To mention one more, the have-to-say good-looking Native American actor, Rodney A. Grant who played Wind In His Hair. The strong and eager young leader. If he could (and he wanted to) he would have killed Dunbar from the start. I’m surprised at his character. I was expecting a hothead who would secretly try and kill Dunbar or cause trouble. But he’s respectful to the council and the elders which in turn made him to be a great friend of Dunbar. I enjoyed watching them become friends.

John Barry’s music was wonderful. That, accompanied with the beautiful landscapes of South Dakota made this a great work of art.

Once you understand how these people lived, you will understand that there will always be close-minded people who will fear and maybe even attack the things they do not understand. Instead of immediately saying no because of your beliefs… Stop. Take into consideration other people’s beliefs, accept that they exist for those people and move on. You do not have to apply them to your life if you don’t want to. It’s called having respect for one another. Without that respect, how will we ever coexist as one species? As humans? We are all humans, so we are all one. We are only separated by our beliefs.

As I said before, you will not find entertainment in this one. You will discover a peaceful way of life. Perhaps the original way of life. Values that really mattered like how close families were. How they would do anything to protect those they loved. And most of all, how they would treat strangers, at least the non threatening ones. You can learn so much if you just opened your mind. By accepting everyone as they are, you are already on the easy path.

Overall an excellent film! Everyone should see it.

Thanks for reading my review and my view on life! hehe

– Nick Andersen

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