Native Americans have long struggled for accurate representation in media, particularly in film. Whether the uncredited performances of the “documentary” Nanook of the North or the familiar racism of traditional Westerns, Indigenous cultures have rarely been given much truthful, let alone positive, attention. However, Native people have been slowly cultivating their own voice in film, and that voice is what Dr. Joanna Hearne has spent her academic career studying.
One of the major issues with Native cinema from the start was the misrepresentation of Native actors. Dr. Hearne talks about one of the worst cases in Nanook of the North, and also about the film that really addressed this problem.
Dr. Hearne discusses how she became involved with Native cinema, and the themes she focuses on in her studies.