Film Review : Pocahontas Directed By Daniele Suissa Essay example

Film Review : Pocahontas Directed By Daniele Suissa Essay example

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Although many movies try to recount the most important events and biggest accomplishments in history, many of them end up taking the focus away from the real impact of the historical event. Due to the need to create a movie that has drama and an attractive or complex story line. The 1995 version of the movie Pocahontas directed by Daniele Suissa focuses on Powhatan princess Matoaka, known as Pocahontas, and the events that resulted from English colonists settling in Powhatan lands. Although the movie incorporated a few important details of the actual historical event, overall, it poorly represented the lasting effects Pocahontas’s encounter with the settlers had on the history of colonial America.
The history of Pocahontas, the Virginian Algonquian princess, is one that greatly influenced the survival of the settlement of Jamestown in 1607. Because of earlier encounters, by the time John Smith and his men arrived at the bay, the Powhatan Indians were “fearful and suspicious of the newcomers and were in result very unwelcoming and cold” to the settlers. With high hopes in creating a successful settlement and starting a money-making colony, the settlers were in no way prepared or aware of the hardships and dilemmas they were about to face for several years. Upon their arrival, colonists faced disease, famine, and multiple hardships and were watched from afar by natives who were pleased at the settlers’ struggle. The Powhatans were known for their culture of “dark superstitions and devil worship,” making them a cruel adversary to the white settlers. The natives were a major threat to the settlers; if they were captured, they would be stoned to the head and scalped for the members of their tribe to admire. Pocahontas was the favor...


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...lieve that she was irrationally and solely driven by the love of John Smith. Obviously historically inaccurate as she weds John Rolfe and dies in England. Unfortunately, this movie uses “the intrinsically romantic events in her life […]” as a way to entertain rather than adequately inform. Additionally, to appeal to viewers more, the film showcases “the romantic noble savage […] which [began] a departure from […] standard [views] of Native Americans as brutal and animalistic.”
Overall, the movie fails in its attempt to communicate the importance of Pocahontas. The dramatization of her story in Pocahontas: The Legend takes away from the impact she had in bringing cooperation between the Powhatan Indians and the settlers. Because of this, the movie gives “the effect of making her seem more a figure of legend […]” than a historical figure to the ones who view it.

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