Today in the theater at the Funk Heritage Center, the Year of North American Indigeneous Peoples will present the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans. Directed by Michael Mann and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, the film is based on the classic novel by James Fenimore Cooper and owes much to the 1936 film adaptation by George B. Seitz.
The film takes place in 1757 colonial America. It is the French and Indian War, and the colonists and the native peoples are forced to take sides. British colonists are being conscripted to fight for the British side, but many fear leaving their homes and families unprotected from raiders.
A dying tribe called the Mohicans (consisting of only two men, a father and son, as well as an "adopted" white man named Hawkeye) become the protectors of Cora and Alice, the daughters of British officer Colonel Edmund Munro. They find that a Huron warrior has targeted Munro and his family, seeking revenge for his village's destruction years earlier.
The Mohicans, who treasure their freedom, run afoul of both sides in the conflict. They anger Munro by helping his men, who only want to return to their families, desert. Hawkeye, who has fallen in love with Cora Munro, and his family continue to try to protect the girls from the Huron's vengeance, even as heavy casualties are suffered by all parties involved.
"Year of" chairman (and library director) Michael Martinez will speak before and after the film. His comments are always interesting, as he puts these movies in their proper historical context. I strongly recommend you attend this free film series if only to hear Michael give you the scoop!
Remember the ongoing contest we're running. If you see a "Year Of" film or read a "Year Of" book and write a one- or two-paragraph review, you could win a T-shirt and a flash drive. One t-shirt and flash drive is awarded each month. At the end, all participants will be entered into a drawing for a Nintendo Wii!
Submit your reviews to Karen Preslock at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of each month to be eligible for that month's competition. Good luck!