Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)

★★★½ Watched 29 Jun, 2022

A retelling of a deeply sad part of American history when the native Americans were forced from their lands onto designated reservations. Apache tribes were one of the most known because of warriors like Geronimo who refused to be pushed around by the white man who came to steal the land and natural resources of his ancestors.

The story is told from a perspective of a young soldier (Matt Damon) who comes to the frontier and help the American army to capture the Geronimo and the remaining members of his tribe. We are also presented with the POV of the Apache through several encounters and incidents. As always, there were good and noble people on both sides, but the filmmakers don’t shy away from the American government’s promises they never planned to keep. Jason Patrick represents those who had some insight into the psyche of the Native Americans and understood their struggle. On the other side, excellent Robert Duvall embodies those who were very one-minded at first, but after years of fighting on the frontier were able to at least respect the so-called enemy.

I’d say the success of Dances With Wolves (1990) contributed to this movie being made and it feels like director Walter Hill even tried to capture a similar vibe. I’m not sure if it contributed a lot more to the proliferation of the plight of Native Americans, but I’m glad I saw it as I was not intimately familiar with Geronimo as a historical figure. Another story told from his perspective with some details of his day-to-day struggle would be better, but unfortunately also less box office friendly.

Source: Letterboxd
Info: IMDb

3 thoughts on “Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)

  1. Haven’t seen this one, but Dances With Wolves is one of my favorites. The Native Americans are one of the many dark, shameful stories of American history I have had to face as I’ve grown up in this crazy country. So many beautiful cultures we have destroyed. Pieces of our collective soul ignored. Opportunity wasted. And that’s the kind version of saying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the same goes for across Americas, Australia, parts of Africa… Those were different times. A lot has changed just in the years since WW2, imagine even further back.
      Different atrocities are still happening today so these lessons are very important to keep in the public consciousness not to forget and repeat.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dances with Wolves is also one of my favorite westerns and it was the first movie I distinctly remember when it got a bunch of Oscars that I completely agreed with the choice. I was just old enough to start understanding and appreciating the movies that were nominated. I’m not saying I even saw most of them before the awards ceremony, but those movies are too serious for the kids anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

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