Greetings Reinhardt! Today's "Year of North American Indigenous Peoples" film will be the 1970 classic Little Big Man starring Dustin Hoffman as "either the most neglected hero in history or a liar of insane proportion!"
Hoffman plays Jack "Little Big Man" Crabb, a 111-year-old man on his deathbed relating the tale of his life (told in flashback) to a historian. His incredible life story includes being raised as a member of the Cheyenne tribe, a gunslinger, a sidekick of Wild Bill Hickock, and a scout for General Custer. As a Caucasian boy adopted by the Cheyenne, Crabb is in a unique position to view both cultures.
This film combines satiric comedy and drama, and serves as a social commentary about prejudice and injustice. It is also considered one of the anti-establishment films of the era, portraying members of the US Military as villains in order to protest American involvement in the Vietnam War. Director Arthur Penn has commented that elements in the film were comments on American genocide, similar to the Holocaust.
Chief Dan George was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Old Lodge Skins, Little Big Man's adoptive father.
As with all of the films in our "Year Of" series, Little Big Man will be shown at 2 pm in the theatre at the Funk Heritage Center on campus. Library director and "Year Of" chairman Michael Martinez will be on hand to offer commentary and answer questions.
Remember, our "Year Of" contest is ongoing! See any "Year Of" film or read any "Year Of" book, write a brief review, and send it to Karen Preslock at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each month one winner will be chosen to receive a "Year Of" t-shirt and a 4-gig flash drive. A second-place winner will also be chosen to win a t-shirt. ALL PARTICIPANTS (you can even enter more than once) will be entered into a drawing at the end of the year for a Nintendo Wii. The more times you enter, the better your chances are of winning! Good luck!