Today's offering in our Year of North American Indigenous Peoples film series is the graphic 1970 film Soldier Blue by director Ralph Nelson.
This film was the first motion picture account of one of the most tragic and infamous incidents in the history of the American West: the massacre of an entire village of Cheyenne and Arapaho by the Colorado militia in 1864. The movie was released during America's involvement in Vietnam, shortly after the events of the My Lai massacre were made public.
Posters in theater lobbies during showings of Soldier Blue warned patrons of the film's "controversial and devastating" subject matter. The film was also unusually graphic for its time in its explicit depiction of violence, including close-up shots of bullets ripping into flesh.
Soldier Blue will be shown at 2 pm today in the theater at the Funk Heritage Center.