The Purpose of Life
The Purpose of Life Website Ministry
Here's the original 1990 theatrical trailer for Dances With Wolves
I've always loved westerns since I was a kid, and I still do. The first time I saw Dances with Wolves (which was on video, and not in widescreen or at the cinema), it didn't actually do much for me at all! At that time I think I was expecting much more action! The majesty of the cinematic photography was largely lost on the small 4:3 tv screen! Over the years, though, after watching it a few times (in widescreen), it has really grown on me. During this time, I have had an increasing interest concerning the historic link between England, America and the Native American Indians. This was encouraged due to a number of visits I made to Seattle in the United States in the 1990's - the name 'Seattle' itself being closely linked to the Indians.

There is certainly much in the history of every country that is extremely appalling and shameful. The founding of the USA is often glorified by focusing on the faith of the 'Christian fathers' and the freedom of the Constitution, but there was much harm and devastation that was done in the name of Christ, particularly to the native population. And let's face it, the Indians were there first! To this day, I continue to pray for a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation between these peoples.

Dances with Wolves gives some insight into the beliefs and way of life of the Indians (how accurately, I'm not sure), along with the differences between various tribes, of which there were many. In many respects, some of the Indians showed that 'the nations have the law of God written in their hearts, and are a law unto themselves' (cf. Romans 2:14-15). Generally speaking, some tribes had a great respect for the laws of nature, and had grasped something of the realm of spirit. The common religion of the American Indians is very different when compared to other ancient tribal religions, most of which were very depraved. Of course, this is a generalisation.
This movie, along with Geronimo (the 1993 version, starring Joseph Runningfox, not the one with Gene Hackman), has helped me to see a different perspective on the Native American Indians, who, after all, belong to the one race and family of humanity, even if some white people have tried to say otherwise. There have been many wrongs that have been committed throughout history, which, I believe, God will put right in the future judgement.

I love 'Dances' for many different reasons, too long to list here, but the main overriding theme of the movie for me is that of true brotherhood, love and loyalty of the heart within human relationships, whatever the culture; as well as the human search for peace and harmony and reconciliation. And there are certainly some very powerful and moving moments in the film - involving human relationships, as well as the bond between man and animal. The wolf Two Socks is a wonderful addition to the story. The film also reveals the wickedness, hatred, shallowness and injustice of the human heart, along with the common human flaw of ignorance!

Overall, I think this is an excellent film - and the scenery is breathtaking (it was filmed in South Dakota). I don't think Kevin Costner is going to top this one any time soon, although I do really like
Open Range also. The musical soundtrack by John Barry is excellent as well. I sometimes wonder what I would be called if I belonged to an Indian tribe - 'Big Flapping Arms' maybe (I can be very expressive!) or 'Crazy Singing Monkey' (I like to sing!).

By the way, the new extended version on DVD is even better (though very long!)