The American Indian Quarterly
Volume 35, Number 4, Fall 2011E-ISSN: 1534-1828 Print ISSN: 0095-182X
Decolonizing the Lens of Power: Indigenous Films in North America (review)
You can find the the entire review here: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_indian_quarterly/summary/v035/35.4.colley.html
An excerpt: Kerstin Knopf's book Decolonizing the Lens of Power: Indigenous Films in North America focuses on Native American and First Nations films and filmmakers as they create what she calls an "answering discourse" to the media-validated colonial discourse. Knopf samples a variety of Native American filmmaking genres, including documentary, short films, and full-length narrative films, providing a detailed synopsis and content analysis of several films. Since its genesis in the early 1900s, film has been an effective colonizing tool, impacting Indigenous peoples around the globe. Films varied from ethnographic documentaries depicting "exotic" and "vanishing" tribes to Hollywood narrative cinema depicting Natives as a savage race that must be exterminated or subdued to make room for Christian civilization. Like many forms of media, film has been used by those with power to generate propaganda, manufacture stereotypes, foster racism, and create in the popular imagination widely accepted justifications for genocide, land theft, and other forms of oppression. Both Canada and the United States have used state-sponsored films to legitimate their settler governments and land claims within their borders. As filmmaking became an accessible visual art form for Native American and First Nations peoples, it became a medium and tool used to express creativity, educate, and advocate for change.