Combining a road trip from his native Arctic reservation to Los Angeles with an archival cinematic survey, Diamond's treatment of each is perfunctory to the point of inutility.
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The first-person sections, however, couldn’t be more clumsy or grating, and every time Diamond’s tone-deaf narration starts repeating the obvious, you can feel an eye-opening history lesson turning into a quirky, orbs-glazing travelogue.
The tone of Reel Injun is respectfully serious, though well short of angry, while focusing on how the stereotypical depictions of marauding redskins affected the self-images of Native Americans.
The documentary ends on a hopeful note, as Indians themselves have taken control of their image.
Absorbing and amusing for as long as it looks back at those Hollywood westerns, recounting their sins against American Indians.
There are gaps here and there, but it provides a fascinating introduction to a corner of film history that has gotten too little attention.
Examines in entertaining detail the way Hollywood has treated North American natives going as far back as the days of silent flicks.