Course:Native Americans Petric Paula
Prof. Ruxandra Radulescu 1st year
The Searchers- Film Report
My first impression of this movie was that it is a very racist one. Here you meet racism in
all its forms: in character's traits, in the captivity narrative, in the stereotypical image of
Indians , and also in the white people fear of miscegenation .The film is not an objective one
because it does not present the real relations between Indians and whites, but it reflects the
cultural beliefs of its time about Indians and their social and sexual impact on the white people.
The plot is very simply put forward. Ethan Edwards, a veteran of the confederate army returns three years after the Civil War has ended to his brother's farm in Texas. The action takes place in the year 1868.Soon after his arrival a Comanche raid kills his brother and sister-in-law, Martha and takes captive their two daughters: Lucy and Debbie. Extremely angered Ethan sets off with Martin, his brother's adopted son(part white and part indian) to find the two missing girls. Lucy is soon discovered: she has been raped and killed, but the two men continue the obsessive search for Debbie. Martin soon realizes that Ethan wants to find Debbie not to rescue her, but to kill her for "living with a buck". In the end they find her and Ethan leaves apart his hatred and takes her to the Jorgensen family, "symbol of society and civilization on the frontier".
The main theme of the movie, racism is first reflected in the traits of character of Ethan and Martin. Ethan is a fervent racist, who really hates Indians. He wants to kill Debbie only because he thinks that, living for so many years with Indians she "is not white anymore" as he precisely says. He also thinks that her mother would had wished that too. When he says to Martin what his intentions are ,Martin's response is "she's alive and she's gonna stay alive", but Ethan believes that "Living with Comanches ain't being alive". His obsession with Indians makes him a "psychologically-disturbed man who will always remain outside society and the community". But in spite of his hate for Indians we find in Ethan some attributes associated stereotypically with Indians: "he understands the nuances of Indian culture, customs and beliefs and can speak Comanche language". So in the end Ethan appears...