Turner Classic Movies To Examine Hollywood's Portrayal Of Native Americans In May

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Turner Classic Movies this May will present the fifth installment in its "Race and Hollywood" festival, this time turning its attention to Native Americans.

Every Tuesday and Thursday night during May, TCM will schedule selections from "Native American Images on Film," beginning with a trio directed by John Ford. Joining TCM host Robert Osborne in presenting the films is professor Hanay Geiogamah, director of the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA.
The films and introductions will explore a different topic each night, starting May 4 at 8 p.m. with "An Evolution of Characterizations" that will showcase Ford notables' Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964).

Other topics, according to TCM officials, will include Indians as enemies (May 11); white men living among Indians (May 13); Indians as "noble savages" (May 18); Native Americans facing racism (May 20); Native American actors and filmmakers (May 25); and images from outside Hollywood (May 27).

"We are very proud that each year we can use our huge film library to show how racial and cultural identities have been portrayed in films through the decades," said Osborne in announcing the festival. "Movies have always had such a tremendous impact - both positive and negative - on how different minority groups are viewed.  Utilizing our expansive library, we have the opportunity to dig into such subjects more deeply than anyone else on television.  This has made our Race and Hollywood festivals an important part of the ongoing dialogues within society.  

"We look forward to continuing this important endeavor with the participation of Professor Hanay Geiogamah, someone who has helped shape the way Native Americans have been treated and portrayed on the screen, television and the stage."

Past editions of TCM's "Race and Hollywood franchise" explored how Tinseltown's portrayal of African-Americans (2006), Asians (2008) and Latinos (2009).  In addition, the vintage film servicelooked at Hollywood's depiction of gay images in film (2007).